Why Jakarta is sinking

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The 400-year curse dragging Indonesia's capital into the sea.
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Like many coastal cities around the world, Jakarta is dealing with sea level rise. But Indonesia's biggest city also has a unique problem: Because of restricted water access in the city, the majority of its residents have to extract groundwater to survive. And it's causing the city to sink. Today, Jakarta is the world’s fastest-sinking city.
The problem gets worse every year, but the root of it precedes modern Indonesia by centuries. In the 1600s, when the Dutch landed in Indonesia and built present-day Jakarta, they divided up the city to segregate the population. Eventually, that segregation led to an unequal water piping system that excluded most Indigenous Jakartans, forcing them to find other ways to get water.
To understand how it all ties together, and what’s in store for Jakarta’s future, watch the video above.
Sources and further reading:
If you want to learn more about the development of Jakarta’s urban water supply going all the way back to colonial times, check out Michelle Kooy’s detailed reports:
To understand Jakarta’s colonial history and the segregation that came of it, check out this article from the Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art: jhna.org/articles/dutch-batavia-exposing-hierarchy-dutch-colonial-city/
To read about the evolution of the canals the Dutch built in present-day Jakarta and how their deterioration impacted water access and segregation, here’s a study from Dr. Euis Puspita Dewi, who we feature in the video:
To get a broader look at the many other cities sinking in Indonesia, check out this article by Dr. Estelle Chaussard: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0034425712003975
Thanks for watching and let us know what you think in the comments!
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Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
Watch our full video catalog: goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H









コメント数 100
Vox ヶ月 前
Hello! We have translated subtitles available in Bahasa Indonesia. You can access them through the settings icon > Subtitles/CC Thanks for watching, and let me know what other colonial histories you want to see explained next in the comments. Thanks, Christina, Video Producer
Lewoui 8 日 前
i have a feeling its dutch reclamation..
Dream_In72࿐ 10 日 前
Na Ma
Na Ma 11 日 前
@7A_31_Teuku Zhafran Ravi R. Lol, you're calling me kid when you're "7A"
7A_31_Teuku Zhafran Ravi R.
@Na Ma ok FF kid, just whatever
Na Ma
Na Ma 11 日 前
@7A_31_Teuku Zhafran Ravi R. nope
An Alien from outer space
Hey, they should be proud of it, it is the new Venice.
Beautiful People
Beautiful People 6 時間 前
Literally every problem is either rooted in Dutch or British colonialism.
Dani Mulyana
Dani Mulyana 7 時間 前
yet most of jakartans always blame bogor for sent them flooding water ...
Alfarhandy 7 時間 前
Forgot to tell ya The capital City is Balikpapan From indonesia (me)
Margarita Galacio
Margarita Galacio 15 時間 前
Because of pipe water, maybe.keep safe java ❤
Evan cjh
Evan cjh 15 時間 前
So.... It's all the Dutch's fault?
Abir Ahmed
Abir Ahmed 16 時間 前
People say muslim created lots of problem in history but if you actually looks at history you will find these are all British, Dutch, German, French and so on. They tried to hide their misdeed by blaming us Muslim, but truth can't be frustrated. Muslims were superpower of the world because we were closer to the Quran, now we are closer to the western so we are being destroyed and attacked. Even Indians blame muslim too whereas they take pride on Taj Mahal, Kutub Minar, and all those Moghul landmarks. Hypocrisy at it's best
Abir Ahmed
Abir Ahmed 16 時間 前
An ad every 2 minutes
雨Rain 16 時間 前
Pesona Indonesia, Am I right?
Theotmt 19 時間 前
I can confirm that this is a problem, and it is flooding outside my house rn. I litterally plan to move outside if this keeps going on...
Shredded Alto
And schools would teach the students that flood is caused by people building houses on the riverbank and people littering but it's never because of the government's inability to provide an adequate city planning. I wonder why🤔
Dustino Pho
Dustino Pho 日 前
You be ok Alah knows it already..
Dragon308 日 前
Not sure if anyone said this but Jakarta is slowly turning to a new Amsterdam
chuyuu 日 前
bird = solution ok got it
Icanohzyl 日 前
pump it up
Robert 日 前
Isn't it easier to just say that it is a democratic conspiracy?
John Leiman
John Leiman 日 前
Just, to clarify you can't really drink _any_ tap water in Jakarta. At least not afaik. Pipe leaching and contamination of our supply is far too prominent for that. I didn't even know that people normally drink tap water in more developed countries until the first time I'd been lucky enough to go abroad myself (Singapore)!
Why did i
Why did i 日 前
Use straw
Another story of problems originating from colonialism.
yumpladukfoo 日 前
It doesn't take 70 years for the locals to fix a water problem they were left with by the imperialistic Dutch. It's called corruption.
peasveys 日 前
Apa kabar jakarta
Joe Stalin
Joe Stalin 日 前
Free East Timor
Joe Stalin
Joe Stalin 日 前
God has cursed the Followers of Muhammad
Joe Stalin
Joe Stalin 日 前
God Punishing the Wicked, turn away from your False God.
FuzzyFuzz 2 日 前
Pag si duterte naging presidente dyan lilipad yan sa ere para di na abutan ng tubig, dds talaga ako kaya alam ko yan
Jerome FitzRoy
Jerome FitzRoy 2 日 前
Oh the irony, they needed water, so they flooded it.
Sekhmet Lateeff-El
Cause of Death: Drowning due to dehydration.
nitin viswanath
nitin viswanath 2 日 前
Man the British and the dutch had their hands everywhere, geez.
nana! 2 日 前
Mexico city: Finally! A worthy opponent.
jellysplatter 3 日 前
The scary thing about this is that this is not even the beginning. Our generation will have to experience entire nations going underwater if nothing is done. If we leave nothing to be done, the boomers will unfortunately be right about our generation.
Ayush Thirumalai
Its dutch foult
Citra Maharani
that's the fault of Indonesian government lol
QualityUrine 3 日 前
No its not
Anarghya Sumanth
When the capital is in crisis, the politicians have a great response by moving the capital to a new city. Now the capital does not have a crisis. Egypt is doing the same thing too!
Rafelandroid2 3 日 前
so basically. jakarta has the low ground. meanwhile its surroumdings aree generally higher. so if the surroundings wants a flood, it cant. the water goes down to jakarta. . i dont live in jakarta btw. i do live in Indonesia in fact.
Reinout 3 日 前
Yeah Tokyo and Jakarta are pretty much in the same region....
Peter the Panda
Peter the Panda 4 日 前
People in ancient/past Jakarta and Mexico City: Let's build our capital in a swamp/marsh. We're sure nothing wrong is gonna happen.
ngebajak 4 日 前
I am living in Jakarta.What we actually need is corruptors are sentenced to death, then all other problems in this country will get solved easy
Bianca Connie
Bianca Connie 4 日 前
I was stressed when I saw this😶
Mikezy 5 日 前
This person: JAKARTA IS SINKING! *Indonesians have entered the chat*
Arto Vesander
Arto Vesander 5 日 前
So, 70 years after the Dutch rule.. population in Jakarta expanded from 1,5 million to 10,5 million and this growing party continues to do all the tricks to sink their own city, year after year. Nice work buddies.
INDO_SHOT Indonesia
Well jakarta kinda fricked since jakarta even tho a state has more population then russia
Monic Evangelista
instead of planting more pipe waters, the government just decided to move the capital instead. amazing.
Spectacular Spaghetti
So these people want to build a bird to keep the problem away for a few more years instead of actually saving it forever..
Dwi Agustin Kurniawati
Hey im indonesian and i live in jakarta, so this is a good video
Dwi Agustin Kurniawati
Also i hope i don’t get a flood for the 3rd time
Alex Vergel de Dios
Another example of how Imperial Europe effed up this part of the world! Time for the Asian Century
Sri Umiati
Sri Umiati 5 日 前
Move to kaltim not solve problem but make another sinking
Dimas Irvan
Dimas Irvan 6 日 前
I live 15 Km from south jakarta border. This happen in North Jakarta, in south, it quite save because the land is near to higher land. So, I hope Jakarta sink fast, because the Gov is not yet gave any attention to this crucial matter, his matter now is to make his image for 2024 presidential candidates. The gov before him, will move those sinking civilians to low cost apartment, butwith good basic facility to live safely, then repair North Jakarta to reduce the impact of the rise of sea level with innovation and technology. I'm glad if Anis capped in failure just because his ambition on political issue, not because of how he manage the people of Jakarta into a better living. Trust me, Anis baswedan did not care to this people. Let Jakarta sink !!! The capital will move to Kalimantan anyway.
Anton Jii
Anton Jii 6 日 前
The sad reality of global warming. The worst part is that there are people out there that do not believe in global warming.
Camilla Ackers
Camilla Ackers 6 日 前
R.I.P Jakarta
Hadi Ridop
Hadi Ridop 6 日 前
Dari tiktok ke sini
Kiryuu Nisa
Kiryuu Nisa 6 日 前
When I was ten years old, there was a news about Java land Will sinking in 2040. I thought it was a lie.
Citra Maharani
I'm old enough, I wish I didn't live in Jakarta.
Satria Jannatan
Satria Jannatan 4 日 前
Well not java itself
syifan Gaming
syifan Gaming 5 日 前
i don't know seem is a lie
Kiryuu Nisa
Kiryuu Nisa 6 日 前
When I was ten years old, there was a news about Java land Will sinking in 2040. I thought it was a lie.
Jakarta People : Jakarta SInking Governor : No Problem. Water is from God. Just Pray
Shreya Prakash
Shreya Prakash 7 日 前
Trust the Europeans to spoil anything.
Fadhil Dep
Fadhil Dep 7 日 前
Satu satunya penghalang adalah Korupsi. Titik
100DaysGaming 7 日 前
i got dreaming.. before 2050.. maybe 2030 jakarta is gone.. full of water
Siti Aisyah
Siti Aisyah 8 日 前
Makanya sumur resapan dan biopori wajib digalakkan di jakarta
tstcikhthys 8 日 前
Since people in the US don't use the metric system, let me help you out: _kilometres_ rhymes with millimetres and centimetres (units of measurement), not thermometers and barometers (measuring devices).
Altiris 8 日 前
Sheikh Humayun Kabir
So it’s not climate change that sinking Jakarta...it’s colonialism ...🤯
Jamie Wells
Jamie Wells 8 日 前
who gave white people this superiority complex?
Lewoui 8 日 前
Me, a Jakartan: you are joking right, do you mean East Nusa Tenggara?
aris setiawan
aris setiawan 8 日 前
Jakarta Goverment and Indonesia Goverment do not know to solve this problem, Goverment do not have Grand Design or master design to save this city . The easisest way just relocated indonesia capital to kalimantan island and leave it and forget it jakarta as an old city of indonesia . Leave it and forget it jakarta become a lost and sinking city ..Poor Jakarta
abcd def
abcd def 7 日 前
They do have the masterplan the reclamation plan (along with clean water reservoir) designed by korean, dutch, as well as bapennas since 2013. But Anies do not have the political will to do reclamation. Probably after he is gone the new governor and the central gov will continue the plan.
Ray Pradana
Ray Pradana 8 日 前
Why isn't anyone saying anything about Palyja or Aetra? They're the major water works player in Jakarta.
Aru Gozino
Aru Gozino 9 日 前
I'm ashamed to see this, lucky I'm not Jakartan if I'm a Jakartan where to put this face? Wkwk
Intreous 9 日 前
Funny how the Netherlands is known for both causing sinking and preventing sinking (Delta Works)
Syafira Azzahra
Syafira Azzahra 9 日 前
So this is white people’s fault again of course
turtle g
turtle g 10 日 前
Time to stop raising too many kids
Satria Jannatan
Satria Jannatan 4 日 前
Venetia : *flexing Jakarta : hold my beer!
Ya Yang
Ya Yang 10 日 前
Jakarta lebih butuh air bersih bukan air alkohol/minuman keras wk
7Seas 10 日 前
This is my city 😢
Baskoro Harwindito
Jakarta is sinking! Me who lived in the edge of jakarta: *oh fric-*
Baskoro Harwindito
@Naim iya
azkar rox
azkar rox 10 日 前
Karena banyak air
king sufi
king sufi 10 日 前
hope they found a way eh.
Aprilian Sten
Aprilian Sten 10 日 前
Jakarta 2040 ??
Ertyu Ganteng
Ertyu Ganteng 10 日 前
Because of water
Eusebio Leonidas
Eusebio Leonidas 11 日 前
from what i learnt in history class. the canal was not damaged by the dutch but was damaged by the locals to expel the dutch out of batavia.....
deddy ddy
deddy ddy 11 日 前
Mangrove oh mangrove, where are you there
Rania Anindita
Rania Anindita 11 日 前
I live in Jakarta!
mohdz tv
mohdz tv 12 日 前
it is sinking because of the lock canals you dumps
Aditya Arnanda
Aditya Arnanda 12 日 前
Brilliant content, @Vox! as always. Please dubbed into Bahasa Indonesia language so more ordinary Jakartans will be able to realize this matter. Still, thanks for the subtitles. Watching this really struck me personally. I was born and have lived in Jakarta for almost my entire life. Safe to say that Jakarta is less livable and getting more crowded over years. I think it's sadly beyond repair. wishing to move to the new proposed capital in Borneo.
Azka ZF
Azka ZF 12 日 前
0:57 good thing i'm in south jakarta :v
Ishaan 13 日 前
The colonials must share the blame. Make them pay!!!
lunom tjoa
lunom tjoa 13 日 前
Jakarta is sinking let's move out city to Borneo
Alberto Fernández
The giant eagle island is cool and all but they could rlly just build some water infrastructure
Riccky M
Riccky M 13 日 前
atlantis part 2 will be revealed
Fak Yu
Fak Yu 13 日 前
Eh this is pretty much just tuesday for the indonesians
John Ibasco
John Ibasco 13 日 前
Here in the philippines . Manila is also sinking
John Ibasco
John Ibasco 13 日 前
Here in the philippines . Manila is also sinking
ritu pandey
ritu pandey 13 日 前
Basically Dutch came not only with their design, weapons and transport also with their sinking problem
Joel davidsson fanpage
not really way to much people in indonesia
Sahil Tanweer
Sahil Tanweer 13 日 前
Where ever You See A problem Behind this Reason is European Colonisation
someone on internet
at the other hand, pipedwater won't give much solution if not used by the society. they can find an access to it but people need to pay monthly fee for their water. and those people with low income (that actually lived around north jakarta) won't have the money to pay for it and will keep their groundwater pipes. they need to choose hard decision here.
No one Cares
No one Cares 14 日 前
Your contents are educational as always.
ffira mikah
ffira mikah 14 日 前
semuga Rabb sekelian Alam merahmati kita semua. salaam
hemisphere 14 日 前
Trust me, the giant seawall don't be protect Jakarta for long time if unutilized residents still don't have clean water access
alexis ben delamousseauchocolat
Thank you, Vox
The One Called RJ
The government needs to use that 40 billion dollars to create pipe systems and allow the citizens to get clean water. Also, if the effect can be reversed, they should consider redoing the sidewalks, streets, and other places paved with concrete and use porous (pervious) concrete to allow the rain water to supply the Aquifers so the city can stop sinking.
Andrei The Cringe lord
I'm sure togashi's dad wouldn't be happy
ah mat
ah mat 14 日 前
Jakarta sudah cantik dan modern
GREXGO 14 日 前
Atlantis 2.0
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