Romang “The Golden” Island
Location and Transportation
Romang and Kisar are neighbouring islands in the Moluccas, lying to the east of East Timor. Lacking an airstrip, Romang is only accessible by boat, which takes four hours from Kisar. Kisar has an airstrip and is thus accessible by chartered flight from Kupang as well as by sea.
In addition to being a centre for logistics, Kisar is the administrative centre for the district- level government and will therefore play an important role in the development of Romang.
From Romang, small boats or passenger ships are used to travel to Kisar, Makassar or Ambon. There is a regular ferry (Perintis) that is scheduled to stop fortnightly at the jetty at Hila on a Wednesday.
There are no motorized vehicles at all on Romang, with the exception of one motorcycle cart. People cross the island on foot, sometimes with the assistance of pack ponies to carry loads. Small boats are used to circumnavigate the island and all of the settlements are on the coast.
Seasonal winds have a major impact on access to Romang. The easterly wind that prevails from December to February causes ocean swells that prevent any seafaring for three months. This seriously disrupts the supply of basic commodities such as sugar, rice, and oil: such goods are all brought from Sulawesi by trading vessels.
From May to July there are westerly winds and the seas become calmer, making it possible to cross by small boat to Kisar. This is followed by the dry season, which begins in August, during which the sea is relatively calm.