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!
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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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Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H


  • Vox
    Vox10 hari yang lalu

    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

  • lensa grapher

    lensa grapher

    2 hari yang lalu

    @Vita indo is dump

  • lensa grapher

    lensa grapher

    2 hari yang lalu

    @Na Ma yeah!!!

  • myselfrnt


    2 hari yang lalu

    Thank you

  • Dolores Gutierrez

    Dolores Gutierrez

    3 hari yang lalu

    MV A # d lot ,loid.

  • Han FuJIN

    Han FuJIN

    3 hari yang lalu


  • Helloverlord
    Helloverlord49 menit yang lalu

    So, basically, according to woman at 6:00 Dutch are to blame becouse Indonesians didnt have piped water to every home? Why they did force Dutches to make it for them? Oh, they couldnt, they had better stuff to do, like building mosques - first things first, I got it. ...but, maybe, I dont know, they could invite Dutch to invade them again but this time to do proper job and lay all the pipes, yes?

  • Muhammad Danish
    Muhammad Danish2 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta: " I'm sinking" Captain Cairo: " what are you "sinking" about?"

  • Pisces 28
    Pisces 283 jam yang lalu

    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*

  • Pisces 28
    Pisces 283 jam yang lalu

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

  • whitechick zero
    whitechick zero3 jam yang lalu

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

    PABLO HERNANDEZ3 jam yang lalu


  • 1337fraggzb00N
    1337fraggzb00N4 jam yang lalu

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

  • Dream Z
    Dream Z5 jam yang lalu

    Pakek jantung naga legendaris aja yang bisa membuat 1000 pulau mengapung

  • Just Yuyun
    Just Yuyun6 jam yang lalu

    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 .

  • Drew Senna
    Drew Senna6 jam yang lalu

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

  • knight flame
    knight flame7 jam yang lalu

    Can you make a vedio about Bangladesh climate effect?

    ILHAM FAJAR7 jam yang lalu

    Im from Indonesian

  • Reseviladik Productions
    Reseviladik Productions8 jam yang lalu

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

  • Beniah Siahaan
    Beniah Siahaan9 jam yang lalu


  • Ilham Pratama

    Ilham Pratama

    4 jam yang lalu

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

  • Katie Kat
    Katie Kat9 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • raphael diaz
    raphael diaz9 jam yang lalu

    I feel greateful for living at an apartment in jakarta now

  • Benz mf
    Benz mf10 jam yang lalu

    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!

  • Raja Sri Indra
    Raja Sri Indra10 jam yang lalu

    Karma are real

  • atika fitriyani

    atika fitriyani

    8 jam yang lalu

    karma dari apa?

  • naufal satira
    naufal satira10 jam yang lalu

    Is our government saw this as a big problem?

  • yossi aulia
    yossi aulia10 jam yang lalu

    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

  • Yanto Delahoya
    Yanto Delahoya11 jam yang lalu

    Dog Content, you now Jakarta , provokasi its content

  • Ricardo Ruiz
    Ricardo Ruiz12 jam yang lalu

    Human greed is becoming the biggest issue 💚🌏

  • M. Arko Sachtito. G
    M. Arko Sachtito. G13 jam yang lalu

    Untung gua tinggal di pedesaan yang tidak terlalu dalam

  • Rizki Ramadhan
    Rizki Ramadhan13 jam yang lalu

    Pada pindah dari Jakarta

  • Man From Earth
    Man From Earth15 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • Alparslan Korkmaz
    Alparslan Korkmaz15 jam yang lalu

    Nice video.

  • Yoga Andoyo Aji
    Yoga Andoyo Aji15 jam yang lalu

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

  • Mark Shiman
    Mark Shiman15 jam yang lalu

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

  • chymev
    chymev15 jam yang lalu

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

  • Kurumi Chan
    Kurumi Chan16 jam yang lalu

    Banjir lagi banjir lagi 😭

  • oiuet souiu
    oiuet souiu16 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • oiuet souiu

    oiuet souiu

    16 jam yang lalu

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

  • TAC C-Observer
    TAC C-Observer18 jam yang lalu


  • Nozyspy
    Nozyspy18 jam yang lalu

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

  • Ramirez Mckenzie
    Ramirez Mckenzie18 jam yang lalu

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

  • kat Mats
    kat Mats18 jam yang lalu

    Looks like China is about to move right in,

  • Mw Zuhdi
    Mw Zuhdi18 jam yang lalu

    siapa ke sini gara gara tik tok

  • CK Gaming Channel
    CK Gaming Channel18 jam yang lalu

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

  • S Suchiang
    S Suchiang19 jam yang lalu

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

    KU AJARI CARA KAYA19 jam yang lalu

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

  • atika fitriyani

    atika fitriyani

    8 jam yang lalu


  • Alex Jefferson
    Alex Jefferson20 jam yang lalu


  • Asrar Kucang
    Asrar Kucang20 jam yang lalu

    Nga bisa bahasa Inggris 😅🤣

  • ReyTX2402


    19 jam yang lalu

    Subtitle: apakah aku sebuah candaan?

  • del
    del20 jam yang lalu

    thank you so much for speaking up about this !!

  • Jamilah Wati
    Jamilah Wati20 jam yang lalu

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

  • Soodam사랑
    Soodam사랑21 jam yang lalu

    Look at the reality

  • G TEAM
    G TEAM21 jam yang lalu

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

  • eyal rubin
    eyal rubin21 jam yang lalu

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

  • joshuahunt05
    joshuahunt05Hari Yang lalu

    How west ruins the east...

  • V Soo
    V SooHari Yang lalu

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

  • Joe Jgrhb
    Joe JgrhbHari Yang lalu

    Yes, finally

  • Joe Jgrhb
    Joe JgrhbHari Yang lalu

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

  • Ramirez Mckenzie

    Ramirez Mckenzie

    18 jam yang lalu

    But it negatively affecting people’s lives

  • lanvia
    lanviaHari Yang lalu

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

  • Prince Psionic
    Prince PsionicHari Yang lalu

    Rip Jakarta, my birthplace :(

  • 4rmDEC2FRE
    4rmDEC2FREHari Yang lalu

    the dutch should pay for the repairs

  • wawan listanto
    wawan listantoHari Yang lalu


  • Top 10 ID
    Top 10 IDHari Yang lalu

    Indonesian media should make a content like this!

  • M F
    M FHari Yang lalu

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

  • Raj Kumar Maity
    Raj Kumar MaityHari Yang lalu

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

  • Prince Psionic

    Prince Psionic

    Hari Yang lalu

    Expensive method, opposition government won't approve

  • RAFROST_141
    RAFROST_141Hari Yang lalu


  • danielroling
    danielrolingHari Yang lalu

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

  • Zuraida Nasution
    Zuraida NasutionHari Yang lalu

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

  • Metodi Angelov
    Metodi AngelovHari Yang lalu

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

  • Rehan Fauzan

    Rehan Fauzan

    Hari Yang lalu

    that's the problem with creating awareness

  • Aan Najmi
    Aan NajmiHari Yang lalu

    BBC Indonesia documentary

  • Psyché
    PsychéHari Yang lalu

    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.

  • Lu Cho
    Lu ChoHari Yang lalu

    = Mexico city.

  • han 90
    han 90Hari Yang lalu

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

  • Nguyen Hieu
    Nguyen HieuHari Yang lalu

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

  • natural mystic
    natural mysticHari Yang lalu

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

  • edi kemput
    edi kemputHari Yang lalu

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

  • cakra bawana
    cakra bawanaHari Yang lalu

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

  • Refrigerator
    RefrigeratorHari Yang lalu

    ternyata salah belanda

  • atika fitriyani

    atika fitriyani

    7 jam yang lalu

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

  • firman harwanto

    firman harwanto

    Hari Yang lalu

    tatanan kurang sip

  • Gmbh
    GmbhHari Yang lalu

    many around the world dont know how to swim yet

  • Muhammad Talenta Rachmansyah
    Muhammad Talenta RachmansyahHari Yang lalu

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

  • Local DeadChild

    Local DeadChild

    14 jam yang lalu

    @Joe Jgrhb why

  • Man From Earth

    Man From Earth

    15 jam yang lalu

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

  • Joe Jgrhb

    Joe Jgrhb

    18 jam yang lalu

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

  • デイブ•`•


    20 jam yang lalu

    @Joe Jgrhb awas nanti ada yang lapor polisi mampus lu

  • J .N

    J .N

    22 jam yang lalu

    @Joe Jgrhb why?

  • Boo
    BooHari Yang lalu

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

  • ᥣꪮꪚᥱᥣꪗ
    ᥣꪮꪚᥱᥣꪗHari Yang lalu

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

  • Sajan Gurung
    Sajan GurungHari Yang lalu

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

  • Pandha 2
    Pandha 2Hari Yang lalu

    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

  • mark mark
    mark markHari Yang lalu

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

  • obdientroger
    obdientrogerHari Yang lalu

    sad anies baswe

  • Eki Kadabra
    Eki KadabraHari Yang lalu

    Peninggalan belanda memang keren ya mulai dari korupsi dll

  • La Alegancia
    La AleganciaHari Yang lalu

    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 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    REZEDHari Yang lalu

    haha singapores clean tap water system go brrr

    REZEDHari Yang lalu

    haha singapores clean tap water system go brrr

  • Ashley Giron
    Ashley GironHari Yang lalu

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

  • Khoa Phạm
    Khoa PhạmHari Yang lalu

    Hey Jakarta say Hi to Atlantis 🤣🤣🤣

  • Anurag
    AnuragHari Yang lalu

    RIP jakarta

  • Khairunnisa
    KhairunnisaHari Yang lalu


  • atika fitriyani

    atika fitriyani

    7 jam yang lalu


    ICEMODEHari Yang lalu

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

  • Muhammad Habil Putra Wijaya
    Muhammad Habil Putra WijayaHari Yang lalu

    setnov : pasti kejujuranlah

  • Nicolas Marinus
    Nicolas MarinusHari Yang lalu

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

  • Adithiyan .s
    Adithiyan .sHari Yang lalu

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

  • Macho1248
    Macho1248Hari Yang lalu

    this is a sad day, for the Jakartians.

  • May Day
    May DayHari Yang lalu

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

  • Zachary Reaper
    Zachary ReaperHari Yang lalu

    Yet people still flooding to Jakarta every day

  • Jamila Kai
    Jamila KaiHari Yang lalu

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

  • asqueroso
    asquerosoHari Yang lalu


  • 咲くR U N I
    咲くR U N IHari Yang lalu

    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.

  • Adit Gaming
    Adit GamingHari Yang lalu

    Came looking for science and I found history

  • Chika
    ChikaHari Yang lalu

    I live in Jakarta.. Dang.

  • eioshen boboi
    eioshen boboiHari Yang lalu

    Mantapp, bagus banget pembahasannya.

  • eioshen boboi

    eioshen boboi

    Hari Yang lalu

    get away with things.