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!
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
Follow Vox on Facebook: goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: goo.gl/XFrZ5H


  1. Vox
    11 dagar sedan

    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

    1. Farid Muslim
      Farid Muslim
      4 timmar sedan

      Vox : because ground water exploitation Cebong : because Anies Kadrun : when ahox time more severe

    2. Na Ma
      Na Ma
      23 timmar sedan

      @A Blank Journal what's bocil?

    3. A Blank Journal
      A Blank Journal
      23 timmar sedan

      @Na Ma Free Bocil, you mean

    4. Na Ma
      Na Ma
      Dag sedan

      @Ecavex and we had over 800 million players worldwide, by the way Free fire is released before pubg mobile (sep 27 2017 before march 19 2018)

    5. Na Ma
      Na Ma
      Dag sedan

      @Ecavex no we're different More futuristic

    12 minuter sedan

    Very gud

  3. NPJ Global
    NPJ Global
    41 minut sedan

    00:39 Alright, alright, but what has Jakarta been thinking about for so long?

  4. shikamaru012
    48 minuter sedan

    what make me sad about this is jakarta lacks the political will to solve this issue. The solution is already there but no one is stepping up.

  5. Noah Brown
    Noah Brown
    55 minuter sedan

    The Dutch need to read that bible

  6. Aprian Wijaya
    Aprian Wijaya
    Timme sedan

    Two words: so devastating.

  7. Sohilah Nazir
    Sohilah Nazir
    3 timmar sedan

    The whole world is sinking and you will never be able to explain why scientifically therefore scientists will continue to baffle themselves with numbers for measurements from wind to fire to planets and earthquakes never seeing that numbers never do uphold anything.

  8. Luna Ssr
    Luna Ssr
    3 timmar sedan

    True all sinking in north,Tanjung Priok,and in kota any building inside land too,in Kota or old city Jakarta

  9. Kath Parreno
    Kath Parreno
    3 timmar sedan

    When your mom gives you a new shirt and you ignore your old clothes because you don´t need them anymore ,cause you already have found a new, better, and clean one

  10. Kath Parreno
    Kath Parreno
    3 timmar sedan

    In this kind of situation the people and residents are the one´s who´s suffering and the government and the media are ignoring them as if Jakarta doesn´t exist .

  11. Kath Parreno
    Kath Parreno
    3 timmar sedan

    News : Jakarta is sinking Indonesian Government: Okay cool we have to move our capital in other places😴 People : 😑

  12. Hisui Ryu
    Hisui Ryu
    3 timmar sedan

    The worst thing is, the government doesn't care about this.

  13. Billy H
    Billy H
    3 timmar sedan

    We are sinking and our government still corrupt. They never hear us, they muted us.

  14. Restina Aprilianti
    Restina Aprilianti
    4 timmar sedan

    Miris saat media luar negeri jauh lebih peduli dengan keadaan Jakarta, sementara media nasional justru memberitakan hal2 yg tidak penting. We are so left behind.

  15. Shahryar Amin
    Shahryar Amin
    4 timmar sedan

    British: We exploited half of the world. Spaniards: We plundered South America. Dutch: Hey, I have an achievement too. I looted Indonesia .I’m in the league too.

  16. Loveless Sevensins
    Loveless Sevensins
    6 timmar sedan

    Just as I look at the title, I already know that this is because of plumbing or what we call sumur bor. it’s not just the poor, the rich use them too to reduce the pipe water cost. They use it for anything but bath and consumption. All that talk about moving the capital city, who knows if the people of borneo will totally agree with that. Despite saying bhineka tunggal ika, we are separated in our own races here.

  17. Mohd Naser
    Mohd Naser
    6 timmar sedan

    😂😂😂 indo people won't understand English... Therefore, it is hardly to see comments from indo nitizen...

  18. Nugrahadi Darmawan
    Nugrahadi Darmawan
    6 timmar sedan


  19. Akbar Asep Suhara
    Akbar Asep Suhara
    6 timmar sedan


  20. Akbar Asep Suhara
    Akbar Asep Suhara
    6 timmar sedan


  21. Alien King
    Alien King
    6 timmar sedan

    Itu yang Sok Sokan bacot katanya bisa ngatasi banjir.. bahkan sampai ada yg berani potong tangan segala... Matanya suruh nonton video ini dulu.. biar ngibulnya lebih di perhalus lagi.

  22. Sahala ᯘᯪᯀᯉ᯲ᯖᯮᯒᯪ
    Sahala ᯘᯪᯀᯉ᯲ᯖᯮᯒᯪ
    6 timmar sedan

    That's why Indonesia need a new Capital City, in central Indonesia.

  23. Fayed Uddin
    Fayed Uddin
    8 timmar sedan

    And the rich attract themselves towards Bali while the country's capital is ruining. What a shame. Some things will never just change.

  24. Álmos Phraner
    Álmos Phraner
    8 timmar sedan

    Its kampung not kampong..

  25. princess huinda
    princess huinda
    8 timmar sedan

    why not plant mangrove trees.

  26. seeni gzty
    seeni gzty
    9 timmar sedan

    Alternative title: How Jakarta is trying to copy Venice in an extreme way.

    1. seeni gzty
      seeni gzty
      9 timmar sedan

      maybe Because of the cracked ice burg on antarctica

  27. Jinky Engbino
    Jinky Engbino
    10 timmar sedan

    Very sad reality

  28. wakanda forever
    wakanda forever
    11 timmar sedan

    Negara rendang

  29. wakanda forever
    wakanda forever
    11 timmar sedan

    Wkwkw Indonesia

  30. Darth Vader
    Darth Vader
    11 timmar sedan

    So it's worst case scenario.

  31. Vega
    12 timmar sedan

    Is any other city sinking as rapidly as Jakarta right now? This is the beginning of a common trend, it deeply saddens and conflicts me as I notice citizens of poor countries suffering at the hands of other people's resources. Society must change

  32. Red Tsar
    Red Tsar
    12 timmar sedan

    Alternative title: How Jakarta is trying to copy Venice in an extreme way.

  33. Joshua Li
    Joshua Li
    14 timmar sedan

    Yes but the crust has been going up and down for the entirety of earth's history. How can we know do something about this problem? - Republicans, probably

  34. AfanDianto Ramadhani
    AfanDianto Ramadhani
    15 timmar sedan

    Jakarta: Sinks Goverment: ok we're move to Borneo

  35. Muhamad Abdan s
    Muhamad Abdan s
    16 timmar sedan

    That's very Old

  36. channel 1
    channel 1
    17 timmar sedan

    GK bisa bahasa enggres

    1. Kalashnikov 413
      Kalashnikov 413
      13 timmar sedan

      Ada subtitle Indonesia

  37. A random trench weeb
    A random trench weeb
    17 timmar sedan

    That's what happens when you say to Dutch to go away.

    1. Kalashnikov 413
      Kalashnikov 413
      13 timmar sedan


  38. Chris
    18 timmar sedan

    The Jakarta's Govenor said when flood just wait the water enter the ground

  39. Hilda Hafidoh
    Hilda Hafidoh
    21 timme sedan


  40. Oyasumi Chonky desu
    Oyasumi Chonky desu
    21 timme sedan

    Before mask

  41. WarBringer 》
    WarBringer 》
    22 timmar sedan

    Yet, some of us choose to be ignorant.

  42. rynamite
    23 timmar sedan

    maybe Because of the cracked ice burg on antarctica

  43. VeganBurger
    23 timmar sedan

    "The reason why Indonesia is sinking is because most of the people dont have enough water" Well... problem solved.

  44. Iwan Suriadi
    Iwan Suriadi
    23 timmar sedan

    This video is so good. Wholesome. Indonesian itself could never.

  45. James Lychyk
    James Lychyk
    Dag sedan

    Its ok Allah will save them, go pray to him some more

    1. Kalashnikov 413
      Kalashnikov 413
      13 timmar sedan

      Don't just pray to God all the time, do something. Your wish to God will be denied by God himself if we didn't act something

  46. Rozi Akbar
    Rozi Akbar
    Dag sedan

    I still don't understand the difference in definition between inundation and flood. Because our government sometimes say it inundation instead of a flood.

  47. Mario Arroyo
    Mario Arroyo
    Dag sedan

    I love seeing Mosques collapse

    1. Kalashnikov 413
      Kalashnikov 413
      13 timmar sedan


  48. Pranjal Singh
    Pranjal Singh
    Dag sedan

    3:18 - Randeep Hooda

  49. Far1shd Official
    Far1shd Official
    Dag sedan

    Makasih untuk informasinya Thanks for the info!

  50. seeni gzty
    seeni gzty
    Dag sedan

    people in the future discovering remains of jakarta : "is this Atlantis?"

    1. Leon S. Kennedy
      Leon S. Kennedy
      7 timmar sedan


    2. seeni gzty
      seeni gzty
      Dag sedan

      proper job and lay all the pipes, yes?

  51. Naufal Ayudhyaksa
    Naufal Ayudhyaksa
    Dag sedan

    I wonder if jakarta dispeaper what city will be the capital(surabaya pls)

    1. watermelon fairy
      watermelon fairy
      22 timmar sedan

      Isn't the capital city gonna move to kalimatan? kalo pindah ke Surabaya kayaknya udah 'rame', 11/12 sama jkt

  52. Marcello Tenarta
    Marcello Tenarta
    Dag sedan

    I live in Jakarta, and I just realized that my house also uses pump to pump the water out... And my house is also located on the map of Jakarta sinking.. But Jakarta is a nice place, full of tall buildings, nice parks, despite having a severe pollution and overpopulation..

  53. Fausa Jakmania
    Fausa Jakmania
    Dag sedan

    Sok tau lu

    1. Kalashnikov 413
      Kalashnikov 413
      13 timmar sedan


    2. watermelon fairy
      watermelon fairy
      22 timmar sedan

      aneh lu

    3. Algazali Yes
      Algazali Yes
      Dag sedan

      Jir,gak mau menerima kenyataan

  54. Gem Domingo
    Gem Domingo
    Dag sedan

    Last November, in our country Philippines, there's a Hurricane and the water rose 22 meters, our Country Philippines is near Indonesia and the Hurricane moved To Vietnam

  55. dashe burner
    dashe burner
    Dag sedan

    The jagged jewel primarily sniff because apology frustratingly mourn without a heartbreaking footnote. fresh, curly anteater

  56. taylor
    Dag sedan

    Hey, can we sue the dutch??

  57. Juan Hernandez
    Juan Hernandez
    Dag sedan

    The alleged kevin repressingly divide because ticket supply appear abaft a embarrassed gate. mixed, wonderful beautician

  58. JessenLH
    Dag sedan

    poor jakarta tho

  59. Air Refresher
    Air Refresher
    Dag sedan

    Bruh, i was thought Jakarta is metrop metropolitan

  60. Sinema Pemula
    Sinema Pemula
    Dag sedan

    why you don't blame Mr. Governor like everybody else?

    1. Sinema Pemula
      Sinema Pemula
      Dag sedan

      @martha setiawan buzzer : "gak bisa bahasa enggress"

    2. martha setiawan
      martha setiawan
      Dag sedan

      disini aman, gak ada simpatisan buzzer

  61. XD3D PUTRA
    Dag sedan

    I live in Indonesia, but not in Jakarta. I live in Salatiga, Central java. Near merapi. I fell so bad for the people in Northern Jakarta.

  62. Thiago Torres
    Thiago Torres
    Dag sedan

    Always freaking European expansionism at the root of todays problems

  63. Not Gud
    Not Gud
    Dag sedan

    What if Jakarta turns into Atlantis V2

  64. G. U . M
    G. U . M
    Dag sedan

    Colonization is the root cause of most of the Easter worlds problem.

  65. S.S.M. Artism
    S.S.M. Artism
    Dag sedan


  66. Helloverlord
    Dag sedan

    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?

  67. Muhammad Danish
    Muhammad Danish
    Dag sedan

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

  68. Pisces 28
    Pisces 28
    Dag sedan

    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*

  69. Pisces 28
    Pisces 28
    Dag sedan

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

  70. whitechick zero
    whitechick zero
    Dag sedan

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

    1. Bl lover
      Bl lover
      Dag sedan

      Awas, digruduk rumah ente wkwkwkwkkw

    Dag sedan


  72. 1337fraggzb00N
    Dag sedan

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

  73. Dream Z
    Dream Z
    Dag sedan

    Pakek jantung naga legendaris aja yang bisa membuat 1000 pulau mengapung

  74. Just Yuyun
    Just Yuyun
    Dag sedan

    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 .

  75. Drew Senna
    Drew Senna
    Dag sedan

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

  76. knight flame
    knight flame
    Dag sedan

    Can you make a vedio about Bangladesh climate effect?

    Dag sedan

    Im from Indonesian

  78. Reseviladik Productions
    Reseviladik Productions
    Dag sedan

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

  79. Beniah Siahaan
    Beniah Siahaan
    Dag sedan


    1. Ilham Pratama
      Ilham Pratama
      Dag sedan

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

  80. Katie Kat
    Katie Kat
    Dag sedan

    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.

  81. raphael diaz
    raphael diaz
    Dag sedan

    I feel greateful for living at an apartment in jakarta now

  82. Benz mf
    Benz mf
    2 dagar sedan

    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!

  83. Raja Sri Indra
    Raja Sri Indra
    2 dagar sedan

    Karma are real

    1. martha setiawan
      martha setiawan
      Dag sedan

      karma atas hal apa?

    2. atika fitriyani
      atika fitriyani
      Dag sedan

      karma dari apa?

  84. naufal satira
    naufal satira
    2 dagar sedan

    Is our government saw this as a big problem?

  85. yossi aulia
    yossi aulia
    2 dagar sedan

    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

  86. Yanto Delahoya
    Yanto Delahoya
    2 dagar sedan

    Dog Content, you now Jakarta , provokasi its content

  87. Ricardo Ruiz
    Ricardo Ruiz
    2 dagar sedan

    Human greed is becoming the biggest issue 💚🌏

  88. M. Arko Sachtito. G
    M. Arko Sachtito. G
    2 dagar sedan

    Untung gua tinggal di pedesaan yang tidak terlalu dalam

  89. Rizki Ramadhan
    Rizki Ramadhan
    2 dagar sedan

    Pada pindah dari Jakarta

  90. Man From Earth
    Man From Earth
    2 dagar sedan

    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.

  91. Alparslan Korkmaz
    Alparslan Korkmaz
    2 dagar sedan

    Nice video.

  92. Yoga Andoyo Aji
    Yoga Andoyo Aji
    2 dagar sedan

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

  93. Mark Shiman
    Mark Shiman
    2 dagar sedan

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

  94. chymev
    2 dagar sedan

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

  95. Kurumi Chan
    Kurumi Chan
    2 dagar sedan

    Banjir lagi banjir lagi 😭

  96. oiuet souiu
    oiuet souiu
    2 dagar sedan

    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.

    1. oiuet souiu
      oiuet souiu
      2 dagar sedan

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

  97. TAC C-Observer
    TAC C-Observer
    2 dagar sedan


  98. Nozyspy
    2 dagar sedan

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

  99. Ramirez Mckenzie
    Ramirez Mckenzie
    2 dagar sedan

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

    1. Artisan
      Dag sedan

      The root of the problem has been identified, now the solution has to be made.

  100. kat Mats
    kat Mats
    2 dagar sedan

    Looks like China is about to move right in,