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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:
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2008.00791.x
www.academia.edu/3682152/Splintered_networks_The_colonial_and_contemporary_waters_of_Jakarta
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:
scholar.ui.ac.id/en/publications/urban-canals-in-colonial-batavia-rethinking-clean-and-dirt-space
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!
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​
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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

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Feb 19, 2021

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Comments 100   
Vox
Vox 17 days ago
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
Fatih BG
Fatih BG 4 hours ago
@Na Ma frii payer buril
Argent Knight
Thanks
Rynaldy Cavdra
Rynaldy Cavdra 2 days ago
I explain about Indonesia again plzz,,,
Om Prast
Om Prast 3 days ago
Wow, matur suwon
Kareem Kalisari
Kareem Kalisari 3 days ago
Vox... Vox... Thanks For YourAppreciation To thePeopleOf " INDONESIA " ... Oh, When you smile... It makes me smile... When you cry... I can’t help but cry.... __________________ INDONESIAN
mossy art
mossy art Hour ago
This is how life work sometime Mother Nature want some of the land and they should build a drain
Purple Pink Trends
Purple Pink Trends 2 hours ago
Stay safe Indonesian friends
FBI
FBI 2 hours ago
So Dutch ruin your city for a century and leave you in swaps and 50 years after independence the government gives the wall building project back to the Dutch? 👁️👄👁️
wiwien
wiwien 3 hours ago
What a curse of being colonized by the Dutch!
Aman Saraf
Aman Saraf 3 hours ago
Every wrong in the world today can be traced back to colonialism
Claive
Claive 4 hours ago
Be safe to my neighborhood country people ❤
Wimpy
Wimpy 4 hours ago
Some people believe because of ice caps lamao
MinecraftDude11
MinecraftDude11 5 hours ago
Fun fact. The Dutch grounds are also sinking while the sea levels are rising.
Goresan Hitam
Goresan Hitam 5 hours ago
Mampus 😆🤭 canda
DS_ MaulanaAlvian
DS_ MaulanaAlvian 6 hours ago
cuz w ar fool
bcvbb hyui
bcvbb hyui 7 hours ago
Geologist: Jakarta is sinking Jakartans: we have the strongest military in SEA, we are happy with that
• Pepe •
• Pepe • 7 hours ago
_"It signals what could happen to Indonesa's capital city if things don't change soon"_ *It is* what will happen to Indonesia's capital city. Because in here, things aint change soon.
bcvbb hyui
bcvbb hyui 7 hours ago
I'm here bc PVCs such a pepega adhd andy
Josh Davis
Josh Davis 7 hours ago
Now that the iceburg broke off in Antarctica it will make the sea level rise faster than ever.
DZ
DZ 8 hours ago
Colonizers zz
AMisfitsDiary
AMisfitsDiary 9 hours ago
Why is it that all our problems can be traced to white people. Sigh.
MJ Caranto
MJ Caranto 10 hours ago
that because indonisian in jakarta keep using wells
KolonK Sporadis
KolonK Sporadis 10 hours ago
Ini baru yang namanya berita bermutu. Membahas permasalahan nyata yg sudah terjadi ratusan tahun sehingga menjadi masalah akut yg berdampak sangat buruk pada masyarakat di masa depan. Ditambah kajian latar belakang & memberikan solusi. Vox, you have my respect.
KolonK Sporadis
KolonK Sporadis 10 hours ago
@Bon G siapa yg bocah?
Bon G
Bon G 10 hours ago
Lol bocahh
bestamerica
bestamerica 12 hours ago
' island indonesia is a soft ground land... ground land can slowly tide down then fill water up
surreal romiics
surreal romiics 12 hours ago
NOOOO MY COUSIN LIVE IN JAKARTA
Gamilagalo Ear
Gamilagalo Ear 14 hours ago
I have a theory:I think they are flooding not bc of natural stuff bc of humans not from the underground thing I believe my mum is filling up the city with water
Gamilagalo Ear
Gamilagalo Ear 14 hours ago
Why not change sea water into fresh water to drink its simple get a high tech machine AND DONE u have drinkable water
T MindGame
T MindGame 14 hours ago
Mamam tuh demo, mau dibuat tembok malah protes skrng siapa yg susah😂
Bon G
Bon G 10 hours ago
WKWK, orangnya ga ada akal
Robby darmawan
Robby darmawan 15 hours ago
Thank you Vox for information 🙏
amana sivkem abe
amana sivkem abe 15 hours ago
So to keep it short its pretty much the Dutch trying to build Jakarta like Amsterdam and failing then trying to protect it like Amsterdam and failing again the irony
Shauna Fuller
Shauna Fuller 17 hours ago
Great information
REgamesplayer
REgamesplayer 18 hours ago
It is a simple story of incompetence and corruption. People are helpless and without foreign rule they are unlikely to solve this simple problem.
Ro Shambo
Ro Shambo 18 hours ago
Weird time to advertise the vox logo..
iunno o
iunno o 18 hours ago
I'm here bc PVCs such a pepega adhd andy
Lazy Islander
Lazy Islander 19 hours ago
The rich always preys on the poor , the worst thing to happen to this planet is the human race
am_ taur
am_ taur 20 hours ago
So In short, the people in the government in Indonesia are either incompetent or corrupt. Indonesians should be afraid if it is both.
bronxgirl712
bronxgirl712 20 hours ago
The Dutch should be responsible for fixing the problem they engineered and set into motion but then that would be too much like equity and justice 🙄
Ezee Baqi
Ezee Baqi 21 hour ago
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Yuriy Zubov
Yuriy Zubov 23 hours ago
Thanks for the material.
Yogi Tamaki
Yogi Tamaki 23 hours ago
Stop blaming the government, we also have a responsibility as citizen to protect our environment 🔥
Blaise Hope
Blaise Hope Day ago
Vox completely ignored the effect pf suharto era centralization that led to a boom in the population that hasnt stopped and the explosion of corruotuon since suharto that made it impossible for any of these measures to be taken. As they point out, all these other cities, and Jakarta didn't. Explain why
Ads Sound
Ads Sound Day ago
I am grateful the Dutch colonial left 🤣🤣🤣
Sherlock Holmes
Bangkok too.
3b Aisha Shabrina
Hello my country :v
Your Mom
Your Mom Day ago
As a jakartan im pretty siked about being a merman
ArzaHelkilporo
I have no comment because it's true
AyoWassupBro
AyoWassupBro Day ago
So is it the dutch fault?
SkinnerClimbs
Blame colonisation
M. Faiz Septian
dont know either
Yashin Yoku
Yashin Yoku Day ago
after 600+ years of colonization is this what we must accept :(
now lomme
now lomme Day ago
When it actually sinks, I'm sad to think that maybe my future grandchildren will have more history to learn. Poor them.
Akim Amin
Akim Amin Day ago
Jakarta is too overpopulated. Money is not everything. Time to move back to own villages and peace of mind is more important.
Sasha's Potato
Oh my gawd...
The Zhafran
The Zhafran Day ago
Who else live in jakarta? Me
The Zhafran
The Zhafran Day ago
Hey is indonesian near atlantis? If yes i can met aquaman i live in jakarta after all
The Zhafran
The Zhafran Day ago
Bruh your joking your joking right? pls say yes I LIVE IN JAKARTA WHAT MY PLACE IS SINKING BUT I DIDN.T SEE MY PLACE SINKING! REALLY GUYS I LIVE IN JAKARTA IS JAKARTA REALLY SINKING! IM GONNA DROWN IF I DIDN.T MOVE
Sasongko *
Sasongko * Day ago
Jakarta butuh kesungguhan, dalam mengatasi banjir dan sepertinya lebih baik pindah ibu kota sebelum terlambat
Yunita Puspita
Tanah Air Yang Kucintaaaaa Engkau kubanggakan
Gotcha Open 2
The coming of Jesus Christ is close my brothers and sisters!! Please repent of your sins and ask God for salvation for the time is short 💕😞 we are not perfect which is why we need to seek the lord more than ever!❤️❤️🙏🏼.....
Soumyasish Bhattacharyya
I came to know about this last year from an Indonesian friend I met online. I couldn't believe that at first. I mean,the cultural and economic hub of a country which also happens to be the capital,with thriving culture and population,this all won't exist few decades later because it's sinking, FAST!! It really sounded horrific and I did some findings on internet and found out that Indonesia is shifting their capital to Kalimantan from Jakarta, although Jakarta will continue to play an important role in country's economy. I was relieved,but then realised that as usual,the poor people will suffer the most. Will they be given proper homes in the new capital? What about their earnings? What will happen to fishermen? When Jakarta completely sinks,will The other capital really be the perfect alternative of Jakarta? And within how long? Since they don't have much time It was really something hard to think about,I discussed this fact with her,I mean that Indonesian friend. We both believe that yes, the new capital will be worthy to take the place of Jakarta and hope for the best. Lots of positivity and thoughts and concern from my side,India. I hope they figure this thing out and not even one person suffers in that capital shifting process.
Querencia.tv
Querencia.tv Day ago
Nice ☺️ ❤️&✌️
nico orlando
nico orlando Day ago
Hmm yes the start of 2020 it actually flooded my house
MrFlipperInvader792
9:38 looks beautiful though, like a prog rock album cover
Diodes
Diodes Day ago
the capital will soon move to East Kalimantan, now the construction process is underway, hopefully it will run smoothly
Chandra Prakash
Urban social management was never taken as a serious subject, only GDP focus and heeding no attention to biodiversity, neglecting climate change disaster signals, Human Beings are proving themselves as the biggest fools... atleast now it is time for ACTION..🙏
thefirstchampster
I'm genuinely terrified for the year 2050.
Dion Gantengkan
What is sinking ? i am indonesia. ora udud paru paru ora smile
Dion Gantengkan
Dion Gantengkan 10 hours ago
@Bon G gak penting b inggris wkkwkwk asal nilai bagus juga dah enak
Bon G
Bon G 10 hours ago
Sinking itu tenggelam dek, makanya kalo lagi bljr b.inggris dengerin👍👍
Dwi Haryanto
Dwi Haryanto Day ago
bagus, serakah sih, yang dibangun cuma jakarta dan sekitarnya saja. Jawa Tengah saja yang masih satu pulau pembangunannya tertinggal.
Bon G
Bon G 10 hours ago
Betul
kuding Kuding
I am proud to know it
kuding Kuding
I am proud with this chanel
Florida Man
Florida Man Day ago
For everypnes information vox is a racist supermacy for the left out a lot of what the very informative people were saying. Like you can obviously listen to them and they are saying more. The man saying that we had to build on top and top and on top but they just said we had to build taller. The lady said much more as well. I dont know the mans language but i do the womans . She said a whole lot more than what the captions stated. Although i will give you "vox" that you said something close at least to what they are saying and at least actually translated half of it! Lazy! Supressing the people to not state their full opinion. Disrespecting those and shutting them up.
Florida Man
Florida Man Day ago
For everypnes information vox is a racist supermacy for the left out a lot of what the very informative people were saying. Like you can obviously listen to them and they are saying more. The man saying that we had to build on top and top and on top but they just said we had to build taller. The lady said much more as well. I dont know the mans language but i do the womans . She said a whole lot more than what the captions stated. Although i will give you "vox" that you said something close at least to what they are saying and at least actually translated half of it! Lazy! Supressing the people to not state their full opinion. Disrespecting those and shutting them up.
Wocky slush
Wocky slush Day ago
Welp bye
Allyson Young
But I think that enough decades have passed from Dutch rule without having to blame them. The Indonesian government must now act.
aldo liong tanpanawas
Im an indonesian the new capital will be tenggarong it will be in the "province" called east kalimantan thats all i know
para San
para San Day ago
tragedy comes from an architect problem or street design.
Lintang Azzamta
I told my friends that jakarta is sinking but they dont trust me :(
Sunsetblvd 1950
This is the first time a coverage about sinking jakarta mentioned the effects of colonization on the issue. Good research.
Yuma Atwood
Yuma Atwood Day ago
the other side of suffering is Greatness .....
Naz
Naz Day ago
Bc God dont like it.
Softly VNTconcept
Hope they will solve that problem. Love from Philippines
Insat 444
Insat 444 Day ago
We are the dumbest species
ArQuel Yap
ArQuel Yap Day ago
My Indonesian brothers and sisters, those walls may protect you from rising water but until when? I think removing some concrete flooring and making eco parks and transferring or planting many big trees can be a big help to absorb water. In our capital city the mayor developed and re-open eco parks so that nature and city are combined, but there are still places which is too urbanized and need more nature in it. I hope that Indonesia will soon solve this problem.
Asharaf Abdul Salam
People in Jakarta: No, you can't just invest Millions on some bird island that will take 30 years complete and will probably sink with rest of the city!! Venture: Haha big birdy go chirp chirp
Metadragon
Metadragon Day ago
TL;DR: Blame Europeans.
KOTA TAHU
KOTA TAHU 2 days ago
Keberatan dg bangunan pencakar langit, terutama di jakarta utara yang berbatasan dgn laut...
WR 96
WR 96 2 days ago
Jakarta is sinking. The local govt: And what about it? 💅🏼💅🏼💅🏼
Ramkumar Suresh N V
Another city in India, Chennai is facing the same symptoms but is at an earlier stage, it is not sinking yet.
Pranshu Pandya
Pranshu Pandya 2 days ago
why is the us air force showing me a filmy ad to join it---while im an indian in india
Rezky Donny Putranto
And people still protesting about moving the capital into Borneo? Dude, just your city is literally sinking 😂
Quttubuddin Al Abin Aibak Ulf Sheikh
Jakarta: *Sinking 92,000 people: I like this!
ken PRIVATE
ken PRIVATE 2 days ago
boats: *I see this as an absolute win!*
anjali mathur
anjali mathur 2 days ago
European powers really messed up a lot!
MUHAMMAD RAFI ADITYA
im life in surabaya
Lotusamb Jeruk
Lotusamb Jeruk 2 days ago
no one asked
Dogma
Dogma 2 days ago
I don’t wanna hear this language again, sink faster.
EpicSayGamer
EpicSayGamer 2 days ago
Jakarta sinks Disney: Let's make. A sequel to atlantis the lost empire Jakarta: The lost Empire
EpicSayGamer
EpicSayGamer 2 days ago
If only trump was still the us president
Danang Graito
Danang Graito 2 days ago
Yup... But don't worry, because in Jakarta, most religious people believes that "What is coming is better than what is gone" .الجيات أحسن من الرايحات So when the city is fully underwater, let's just eat potato chips and see how their faces reaction from our phones.
Hendrianjayyy
Hendrianjayyy 2 days ago
Can't wait
Jeanelle Lagrimas
Very informative ✨
funkiemonkie
funkiemonkie 2 days ago
bro just move
Kany Sabila
Kany Sabila 2 days ago
Other SEA countries: battling societal problems Indonesians: we have enough natural problems already. If we had to face societal problems too, might as well fly to the moon
Johari Talib
Johari Talib 2 days ago
Too much jamu, too many people digging well for dresh water, poor irrigation, too many prostitusi
Visal Hendraa
Visal Hendraa 2 days ago
The Government is still busy with their politcal problem and corruption issue and never solve their sinking city
Rynaldy Cavdra
Rynaldy Cavdra 2 days ago
Thank you Vox for this interesting news, and explaining the perspective of the outside media, and for comparing the explanations from our domestic media.
Devania Sou
Devania Sou 2 days ago
Not only Jakarta will sink, but several cities will also sink in the future (due to human factors and natural factors) I hope the local government can plan something better so that the cities don't sink and all will be okay (I'm using google translate, so If there's any sentence or word are wrong tell me... so I can learn more^^ Thank You)
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