Why Jakarta is sinking

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!
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​.
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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
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  1. Vox

    Vox15 dagen geleden

    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

  2. Rynaldy Cavdra

    Rynaldy CavdraDag geleden

    I explain about Indonesia again plzz,,,

  3. Om Prast

    Om Prast2 dagen geleden

    Wow, matur suwon

  4. Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari2 dagen geleden

    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

  5. Obama is Epic

    Obama is Epic2 dagen geleden

    Mobile legend is Weird games.

  6. bilcanmuf gaming

    bilcanmuf gaming2 dagen geleden

    Mobile legend is the best

  7. Yashin Yoku

    Yashin Yoku14 minuten geleden

    after 600+ years of colonization is this what we must accept :(

  8. now lomme

    now lomme41 minuut geleden

    When it actually sinks, I'm sad to think that maybe my future grandchildren will have more history to learn. Poor them.

  9. Akim Amin

    Akim AminUur geleden

    Jakarta is too overpopulated. Money is not everything. Time to move back to own villages and peace of mind is more important.

  10. Sasha's Potato

    Sasha's Potato2 uur geleden

    Oh my gawd...

  11. The Zhafran

    The Zhafran3 uur geleden

    Who else live in jakarta? Me

  12. The Zhafran

    The Zhafran3 uur geleden

    Hey is indonesian near atlantis? If yes i can met aquaman i live in jakarta after all

  13. The Zhafran

    The Zhafran3 uur geleden


  14. Sasongko *

    Sasongko *3 uur geleden

    Jakarta butuh kesungguhan, dalam mengatasi banjir dan sepertinya lebih baik pindah ibu kota sebelum terlambat

  15. Yunita Puspita

    Yunita Puspita3 uur geleden

    Tanah Air Yang Kucintaaaaa Engkau kubanggakan

  16. Gotcha Open 2

    Gotcha Open 24 uur geleden

    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!❤️❤️🙏🏼.....

  17. Soumyasish Bhattacharyya

    Soumyasish Bhattacharyya5 uur geleden

    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.

  18. Querencia.tv

    Querencia.tv5 uur geleden

    Nice ☺️ ❤️&✌️

  19. nico orlando

    nico orlando5 uur geleden

    Hmm yes the start of 2020 it actually flooded my house

  20. MrFlipperInvader792

    MrFlipperInvader7925 uur geleden

    9:38 looks beautiful though, like a prog rock album cover

  21. Diodes

    Diodes6 uur geleden

    the capital will soon move to East Kalimantan, now the construction process is underway, hopefully it will run smoothly

  22. Chandra Prakash

    Chandra Prakash6 uur geleden

    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..🙏

  23. thefirstchampster

    thefirstchampster6 uur geleden

    I'm genuinely terrified for the year 2050.

  24. Dion Gantengkan

    Dion Gantengkan6 uur geleden

    What is sinking ? i am indonesia. ora udud paru paru ora smile

  25. Dwi Haryanto

    Dwi Haryanto7 uur geleden

    bagus, serakah sih, yang dibangun cuma jakarta dan sekitarnya saja. Jawa Tengah saja yang masih satu pulau pembangunannya tertinggal.

  26. kuding Kuding

    kuding Kuding8 uur geleden

    I am proud to know it

  27. kuding Kuding

    kuding Kuding8 uur geleden

    I am proud with this chanel

  28. Florida Man

    Florida Man8 uur geleden

    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.

  29. Florida Man

    Florida Man8 uur geleden

    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.

  30. Wocky slush

    Wocky slush8 uur geleden

    Welp bye

  31. Allyson Young

    Allyson Young8 uur geleden

    But I think that enough decades have passed from Dutch rule without having to blame them. The Indonesian government must now act.

  32. aldo liong tanpanawas

    aldo liong tanpanawas10 uur geleden

    Im an indonesian the new capital will be tenggarong it will be in the "province" called east kalimantan thats all i know

  33. para San

    para San11 uur geleden

    tragedy comes from an architect problem or street design.

  34. Lintang Azzamta

    Lintang Azzamta11 uur geleden

    I told my friends that jakarta is sinking but they dont trust me :(

  35. Sunsetblvd 1950

    Sunsetblvd 195012 uur geleden

    This is the first time a coverage about sinking jakarta mentioned the effects of colonization on the issue. Good research.

  36. Yuma Atwood

    Yuma Atwood14 uur geleden

    the other side of suffering is Greatness .....

  37. Naz

    Naz15 uur geleden

    Bc God dont like it.

  38. Softly VNTconcept

    Softly VNTconcept16 uur geleden

    Hope they will solve that problem. Love from Philippines

  39. Insat 444

    Insat 44416 uur geleden

    We are the dumbest species

  40. ArQuel Yap

    ArQuel Yap17 uur geleden

    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.

  41. Asharaf Abdul Salam

    Asharaf Abdul Salam17 uur geleden

    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

  42. Metadragon

    Metadragon17 uur geleden

    TL;DR: Blame Europeans.


    KOTA TAHU20 uur geleden

    Keberatan dg bangunan pencakar langit, terutama di jakarta utara yang berbatasan dgn laut...

  44. WR 96

    WR 9620 uur geleden

    Jakarta is sinking. The local govt: And what about it? 💅🏼💅🏼💅🏼

  45. Ramkumar Suresh N V

    Ramkumar Suresh N VDag geleden

    Another city in India, Chennai is facing the same symptoms but is at an earlier stage, it is not sinking yet.

  46. Pranshu Pandya

    Pranshu PandyaDag geleden

    why is the us air force showing me a filmy ad to join it---while im an indian in india

  47. Rezky Donny Putranto

    Rezky Donny PutrantoDag geleden

    And people still protesting about moving the capital into Borneo? Dude, just your city is literally sinking 😂

  48. Quttubuddin Al Abin Aibak Ulf Sheikh

    Quttubuddin Al Abin Aibak Ulf SheikhDag geleden

    Jakarta: *Sinking 92,000 people: I like this!

  49. ken PRIVATE

    ken PRIVATEDag geleden

    boats: *I see this as an absolute win!*

  50. anjali mathur

    anjali mathurDag geleden

    European powers really messed up a lot!



    im life in surabaya

  52. Lotusamb Jeruk

    Lotusamb JerukDag geleden

    no one asked

  53. Dogma

    DogmaDag geleden

    I don’t wanna hear this language again, sink faster.

  54. EpicSayGamer

    EpicSayGamerDag geleden

    Jakarta sinks Disney: Let's make. A sequel to atlantis the lost empire Jakarta: The lost Empire

  55. EpicSayGamer

    EpicSayGamerDag geleden

    If only trump was still the us president

  56. Danang Graito

    Danang GraitoDag geleden

    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.

  57. Hendrianjayyy

    HendrianjayyyDag geleden

    Can't wait

  58. Jeanelle Lagrimas

    Jeanelle LagrimasDag geleden

    Very informative ✨

  59. funkiemonkie

    funkiemonkieDag geleden

    bro just move

  60. Kany Sabila

    Kany SabilaDag geleden

    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

  61. Johari Talib

    Johari TalibDag geleden

    Too much jamu, too many people digging well for dresh water, poor irrigation, too many prostitusi

  62. Visal Hendraa

    Visal HendraaDag geleden

    The Government is still busy with their politcal problem and corruption issue and never solve their sinking city

  63. Rynaldy Cavdra

    Rynaldy CavdraDag geleden

    Thank you Vox for this interesting news, and explaining the perspective of the outside media, and for comparing the explanations from our domestic media.

  64. Devania Sou

    Devania SouDag geleden

    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)

  65. avarice seven

    avarice sevenDag geleden

    So they're going to make a bird-shaped island that takes 30 years to complete (if ever undertaken), instead of giving them piped water?

  66. Ya Boi Boris

    Ya Boi BorisDag geleden

    So once again it's societys fault

  67. Capital A

    Capital ADag geleden

    Why are brown people around the world subjugated to lighter-skinned people?

  68. Be Yourself

    Be YourselfDag geleden

    *did you know indonesian engineer can make flying city ?* They are have the blueprint and please, keep its secret don't tell anyone 🙊

  69. Ker Loz

    Ker LozDag geleden

    The vengeful connection coincidently bolt because swing proportionally correct beside a paltry defense. tired, vast fragrance

  70. Muris Halilovic

    Muris HalilovicDag geleden

    Here is one solution make dutch pay for it.

  71. Sony Digital

    Sony DigitalDag geleden

    poor indonesia

  72. Felipe Valdés

    Felipe ValdésDag geleden

    Kenapa ga ada yg membahas tentang itu di Indonesia?

  73. Athilla Ruben

    Athilla Ruben5 uur geleden

    ada kayak dari CNN Indonesia pernah contohnya atau metro tv, namun pembahasan mendalam jarang sekali ada, sekalinya berita banjir yaa seputar banjir itu, jadi pengetahuan warga hanya berputar disitu saja tidak mendalam tidak meluas

  74. nita

    nita17 uur geleden

    Sebagian video ini ada di pelajaran sejarah waktu sekolah felipe sebenarnya tentang jakarta akan tengelam ataupun pulau yang hilang dan muncul kembali pernah viral beberapa tau yang lalu. Bukanya gak di bahasa tapi karna sudah pernah di bahas beberapa tahun yang lalu. Dan tidak di beritakan lagi jadi sebagian orang tidak tau.

  75. Player 257

    Player 25720 uur geleden

    Mungkin butanya media Indonesia yang hanya melihat berita terviral, bukan terpenting

  76. Akumaru Saburo

    Akumaru Saburo21 uur geleden

    Ada kok banyak, tapi Orang² lebih tertarik sama berita hiburan, hadeuh..

  77. Noir.

    Noir.Dag geleden

    Krn ga ada yg mau nonton jg. Banyak kok di NLpush. Cari aja dan liat aja sendiri. Views nya cmn secuil dibanding acara gossip ato video viral.

  78. Dustin

    DustinDag geleden

    They could also start tearing out concrete and create lots of parks that double as rainwater basins that will allow the aquifer to refill as they lay pipes. Instead of seawall why aren't they just building a water treatment and delivery system?

  79. Dustin

    DustinDag geleden

    When Jakarta became independent from the Dutch and started their extreme growth, why wasn't the city planned or piped as it grew? That doesn't make sense to me.

  80. dwiky hermawan

    dwiky hermawanDag geleden

    Jakarta sinking bec lot of greedy ppl!

  81. good animation

    good animationDag geleden

    For someone who already lives in jakarta this bonechilling😨😨😨

  82. L.K. Lim

    L.K. LimDag geleden

    Have to start seeking new sources of water first (like water treatment plants) and then de-commissioned the use of piped water afterward. Find meaning to channel rainwater back to underground. No use building walls if you didnt solve the root cause of the issue in the very first place in which that bird plan is seriously just draining money into the sea lol.

  83. 2011 Toyota Innova Type V Diesel

    2011 Toyota Innova Type V DieselDag geleden

    Indonesia need dutch

  84. Lisa Su

    Lisa SuDag geleden

    build the city underwater problem solved.

  85. Muhammad Yasin

    Muhammad YasinDag geleden

    Saatnya siapin perahu . Pemerintah mencoba buta

  86. Ahmad Sanusi Hassan

    Ahmad Sanusi HassanDag geleden

    Most population in Kota Bharu Kelantan in Malaysia also rely on ground water. ..... pls help from the federal govt....

  87. Kaia Jensen

    Kaia JensenDag geleden

    These people are so so strong for dealing with this for decades.

  88. iPlay Gaming

    iPlay GamingDag geleden

    Foreign media: inform youe country about it sinking and try to fix it Indonesian goverment: ayo this city is sinking let's just mobe to Kalimantan

  89. Tulus Aris Sugianto

    Tulus Aris SugiantoDag geleden

    It's also difficult if we become the government there, but not the ones who like corruption

  90. Tanishq Singh Bajwa

    Tanishq Singh BajwaDag geleden

    Dutch government deleting comments again

  91. Baldwin xu

    Baldwin xuDag geleden

    Why does it feel like history repeating? When other countries were developing before, didn’t they also face this challenge?

  92. Alexander Pinkerton

    Alexander PinkertonDag geleden

    Not a strong argument that the Dutch colonists (ignoble as they were) are to blame for the past 70 years of Indonesian mismanagement of the problem...

  93. Dustin

    DustinDag geleden

    Yeah I don't understand that either. I understand they founded the city, but they haven't run it since the 40s and it wasn't until then that the massive growth started.

  94. El

    ElDag geleden

    yang ngomong baru vox internasional nayangin materi ini, fix jarang baca berita/ nonton tv berita.

  95. Apalaharti Sebuahnama

    Apalaharti Sebuahnama2 dagen geleden

    Guys I have a solution for this! If the problem is Jakarta sinking on its weight then when it's already under the water there will be no problem anymore cuz people would decentralize on its own, many people might died in the process.

  96. Ahmad Ganteng

    Ahmad Ganteng2 dagen geleden

    It is just an old problem that keep happening. See?? We still can lived here.. While the politician still wasting time, we still see this problem as something on far horizon..

  97. Mechelle Kingman

    Mechelle Kingman2 dagen geleden

    They tried to say it was sea rising .but sat data put payed to that ,sea levels our not rising ,there's been record ice gain this winter

  98. Not Ariq

    Not Ariq2 dagen geleden

    Salute from indonesia neighbour , Malaysia

  99. Rizky Gusna

    Rizky Gusna2 dagen geleden

    Netflix original: "Jakarta Sinks 2050"

  100. Yashin Yoku

    Yashin Yoku18 minuten geleden

    The atlantic metro city

  101. Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling

    Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling2 dagen geleden

    Free west papua! Give back the freedom

  102. Free Man

    Free Man2 dagen geleden

    So Allah is becoming Islamophobic

  103. Jason yu

    Jason yu2 dagen geleden

    If you have ever visited Jakarta, you would also notice that it's drainage has been pretty awful. So no clean freshwater coming in, and no way for the sewage to go out. And it's the fault of rapid population growth.

  104. Rafi Haidar

    Rafi Haidar2 dagen geleden

    Oh so you wanna flood come here -jakarta

  105. Farhan Mirza M

    Farhan Mirza M2 dagen geleden

    Mr jokowi, any solution?

  106. Rainbow LOVE

    Rainbow LOVE2 dagen geleden

    Solution: build farther away from the sea.

  107. NZ-666 Kshatriya Zomrade yg MERAKyats

    NZ-666 Kshatriya Zomrade yg MERAKyats2 dagen geleden

    Theres a plan to move the capital to another city but at least it will take 5 years to even begin

  108. Rahel Ulina

    Rahel Ulina2 dagen geleden

    Wow, this problem must be resolved by the government ... why not try to make some special reservoirs for drinking water? like Batam city? because here the water source is indeed only from one company managed by the Riau Islands province, only a suggestion, so that Jakarta will be better in the future

  109. ルナ

    ルナ2 dagen geleden

    Europeans ruined everything....

  110. LeoDaGoat

    LeoDaGoat2 dagen geleden

    Exactly lol

  111. Aaron Grey

    Aaron Grey2 dagen geleden

    Its karma for what they are doing in West Papua

  112. Kαɳԃα Kσყσ

    Kαɳԃα KσყσDag geleden

    What did they do?

  113. Kono

    KonoDag geleden

    Boo hoo

  114. Steven Maniscalco

    Steven Maniscalco2 dagen geleden

    Developing a piping system to deliver water from the aquifers will not prevent the city from sinking? Your still removing water faster then its replaced. Im not understanding the emphasis put on the lack of piping causing this problem?

  115. TheMercifulGuard

    TheMercifulGuardUur geleden

    The thing is that with organized pipe infrastructure, the water is at least taken from a specific source and not from random spots

  116. chrizzly dizzly

    chrizzly dizzly2 dagen geleden

    It only matters if rich people are affected i don't care about poor people if us rich people have a problem it should be fixed we matter not the poor people

  117. Kocheng Oren

    Kocheng Oren2 dagen geleden

    I Know what the civillian saying...