Why Jakarta is sinking

Publicerades den 19 feb 2021
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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  • 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

  • I don't know why the governments never talk *about reducing the population* ... I'm as Indonesian and who was born there... Like man.. never imagine like how or why is that even there in the first place..😅😅😅 I guess 'they' will just corrupt until eternity. I'm sorry for this kind of depressed statement but I would rather be optimistic in other things.. because it isn't only about *the water* but also the *mentality itself*

  • Indonesian be like: *AKU TERPESONA* *AKU GAK BISA BAHASA INGGRIS ._.*

  • Because, Right now, Goodbener is SIN THINK, May Book Religion Take a Beer 😁

  • Gw1wqww

  • Jakarta:"We are sinking! We are sinking!" German engineer:"What... what are you sinking about?"

  • Pakek jantung naga legendaris aja yang bisa membuat 1000 pulau mengapung

  • the goverment is blinded by money for developing their megacity, that they invite more company and people to built building but forget to repair the city structure itself , from outside it may look okay but the truth everything is in chaos in that city . and don't forget about the people who moving from other city and province them self . i was once live in jakarta myself and been many time to the northen part of the city and it's scary knowing that on some place the sea surface is way up above the ground level . we have a lot of tsunami attacking our country this past 2 decade . wonder what gonna happen if there and underwater earthquake in northern of jakarta ... they gonna sunk immediately ......... erased from the map .

  • Whoa, I didn't know that there used to be more Chinese living in Batavia than Bandanese

  • Can you make a vedio about Bangladesh climate effect?

  • Im from Indonesian

  • Just like what happened in the great kingdom of sundaland :(

  • Benerkah?

    • Iya, bisa aja jakarta tenggelam pada tahun 2050. Liat aja masjid nya gua😭 dah mau tenggelam, bisa bisa jakarta seperti Atlantis

  • I hope they don't move the capital to Borneo b/c that island has a lot of big and small animals that are very close to extinction.

  • I feel greateful for living at an apartment in jakarta now

  • As an Indonesian, what a shame how the international media portrays my country! Indonesia has many resources but without good human resources we are still nothing. Embarrassing!

  • Karma are real

  • Is our government saw this as a big problem?

  • There are so many Indonesian who doesn't know what is the actual problem of the flooding in Jakarta, and yeah me don't know as well untill I watch this

  • Dog Content, you now Jakarta , provokasi its content

  • Human greed is becoming the biggest issue 💚🌏

  • Untung gua tinggal di pedesaan yang tidak terlalu dalam

  • Pada pindah dari Jakarta

  • Cara memilih _the next_ Gubernur Jakarta 1. Pastikan mereka main minecraft 2. Pastikan mereka main minecraft 3. Pastikan mereka main minecraft 4. Langsung pilih no debat.

  • Nice video.

  • VOX : jakarta sinking! Government of indonesia : lets countinue to doing corruption

  • Isn't the solution obvious? Just use rain water... the same rain water that isn't filling the aquifers.

  • Whats the similarities between the dutch colony and local indonesian government? To combat these water problem, lets move somewhere else and save ourselves.

  • Banjir lagi banjir lagi 😭

  • My goodness. We’ve got so many brilliant minds, so much technology but no will power to do right by people. We have failed as a species.

    • Jakarta government need to ask to tokyo and hongkong for sinking problem.

  • money

  • "A mentality that indigenous peoples did not understand sanitation and were not civilised" Mmm healthy trash filled streets you have there.

  • The Dutch are responsible for messing up this city, let that sink in

  • Looks like China is about to move right in,

  • siapa ke sini gara gara tik tok

  • They should build a floating city that relies on buoyancy to stay above water level.

  • Sad to see Jakarta is sinking but their government or media don't cover this problem facing by people

  • Ehh njing, jakarta kok jelek banget lo sorot, udah kayak pemukiman monyet

  • Vox

  • Nga bisa bahasa Inggris 😅🤣

    • Subtitle: apakah aku sebuah candaan?

  • thank you so much for speaking up about this !!

  • Inilah alasan Air Hujan harus terserap kedalam tanah, tidak dibuang ke laut. Sunatulah...

  • Look at the reality

  • This is a sign from god. This mosque but be a truly unholy place.

  • sorry but the government is so bad and so incredibly corrupted its ridiculous ,the Indonesian people really don't deserve this.

  • How west ruins the east...

  • Jakarta government need to ask to tokyo and hongkong for sinking problem.

  • Yes, finally

  • Glad it sink, now the government has reduced excuses for corruption

  • well now i know why my house keeps flooding when it has never flooded before..

  • Rip Jakarta, my birthplace :(

  • the dutch should pay for the repairs


  • Indonesian media should make a content like this!

  • Jakarta sinking Indonesia media:JKT vs KL Indonesia people:jakarta win Malaysia people:🏆🏆🏆👏👏👏

  • U cud change d sea water to drink water... extraction of salt...

    • Expensive method, opposition government won't approve

  • F

  • You can refill the Aquifer. We used to do that in Israel after a good raining season.

  • Asuuu..lo mbhs jkarta thn brp min..sktoy lo min.j

  • The goal of the media is to make others problems your problems

    • that's the problem with creating awareness

  • BBC Indonesia documentary

  • I'm worried now.... Jakarta's population has been increasing rapidly and will increase in the future, addition to that, due to the pandemic, it will get worse.. I'm just hoping the government will take action ASAP.

  • = Mexico city.

  • Why station TV in indonesia don't make film like this.. this content have good value specially to indonesian people.. thanks vox.

  • I sorry guy,i just ask Zeus to ask Poseidon to upper the sea levels

  • I like the wall of Jakarta idea. It's like making a solution with a style!! 😅

  • maybe someday, there are a history book tell people about Atlantis as sinking continent and Jakarta as sinking metropolis.

  • Thats right. Many city is sinking like Jakarta this island.

  • ternyata salah belanda

    • pemerintah dan masyarakat nya juga harus ikut ambil dari masalah ini jangan nyalahin belanda doang

    • tatanan kurang sip

  • many around the world dont know how to swim yet

  • Jakarta People: Help! Our city is sinking! Atlantis: look, we have our new neigborhood!

    • @Joe Jgrhb why

    • @Joe Jgrhb well, u said you hate Indonesia, not Indonesians..

    • @デイブ•`• dude i don't hate the people, is just simply the government is overly corrupt

    • @Joe Jgrhb awas nanti ada yang lapor polisi mampus lu

    • @Joe Jgrhb why?

  • Highest price land in Indonesia will become a swamp in 2050 GGWP to all Jakarta's land lords out there

  • We indonesians are used to it. Every new year it happens

  • Indonesia : we are sinking , let’s force shariya law to stop it

  • and voila, the solution for the jakarta's flood is right here, hope the local and state governments be cooperative and take the both egos aside, no more politics, make humanity come first

  • Is that why Obama is buying beachfront property presently in Martha’s Vineyard

  • sad anies baswe

  • Peninggalan belanda memang keren ya mulai dari korupsi dll

  • All the memes on twitter be like : AHOK (former governor) : Jakarta fellas this is what u looking for right? I helped you to live without flood for several years but you put me in jail Jakarta citizen : it is okay to be livin with flood as long as our leader is Musl*m 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

  • haha singapores clean tap water system go brrr

  • haha singapores clean tap water system go brrr

  • The parched geometry universally wonder because substance essentially try alongside a bizarre shell. peaceful, parallel vulture

  • Hey Jakarta say Hi to Atlantis 🤣🤣🤣

  • RIP jakarta

  • Malu

  • Oh my.. I hope that they can still stop the sinking huhu.

  • setnov : pasti kejujuranlah

  • 4.05 what are those structures on the water? Helicopter pads? :)

  • There is something really funny about something built by the Dutch is sinking

  • this is a sad day, for the Jakartians.

  • this is all because the Indonesian government is "NATO" no action talk only, corruption no 1

  • Yet people still flooding to Jakarta every day

  • White ppl turned class systems into race when they came buying lands and countries they have no rights to

  • awokwkwkwkwk

  • i know its not the time for a bad joke but, _i guess this is weathering with you_ no im sorry i will head out.

  • Came looking for science and I found history

  • I live in Jakarta.. Dang.

  • Mantapp, bagus banget pembahasannya.

  • Jakarta is sinking. .. Indonesians :let's just drink the water..😅😅

  • Things aren't going to change and its all set to worse. God save Jakarta and all other costal cities.