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​.
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


  • Vox
    Vox4 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

  • Aditya R. Suharto

    Aditya R. Suharto

    7 jam yang lalu

    @Na Ma I’m kidding!

  • Na Ma

    Na Ma

    7 jam yang lalu

    @Aditya R. Suharto 👍🏻

  • Aditya R. Suharto

    Aditya R. Suharto

    8 jam yang lalu

    @Na Ma I’m kidding

  • Vita


    9 jam yang lalu

    Makasih udah di kasih sub indk

  • Several People

    Several People

    9 jam yang lalu


  • Aditya victori
    Aditya victori7 menit yang lalu

    Munkin terlalu berat banyak bangunan

  • Aisyah Nabila
    Aisyah Nabila17 menit yang lalu

    Well what can you expect from a president and govt that literally is a circus lead by a (joke)owi?

  • Jimmy Jim
    Jimmy Jim17 menit yang lalu

    Jakarta, what are you sinking about?

  • Ramshackle Alex
    Ramshackle Alex18 menit yang lalu

    I don't know any Bahasa Indonesia, but it seemed llike that one academic was using the word "timor" as west/western. By extension, does that mean "East Timor" means "East West"??

  • Alessandro Panagiotis Nerantzis
    Alessandro Panagiotis Nerantzis43 menit yang lalu

    How come patriarchy is not responsible for the flooding? hah..

  • Mr. Luni
    Mr. Luni43 menit yang lalu

    just put sign everywhere in the house and its solved.

  • D Milly
    D MillyJam Yang lalu

    The tremendous taiwan phenomenologically undress because lilac acly influence sans a kind fiber. infamous, unknown liquid

  • abyss cat
    abyss catJam Yang lalu

    Ask Dutch for help.

  • serdy ximi
    serdy ximiJam Yang lalu

    I just finished “Japan sinks 2020” oh lord

  • Dusan Bartok
    Dusan BartokJam Yang lalu

    I hope this video helps people realise that global warming isn’t a hoax

  • serdy ximi

    serdy ximi

    Jam Yang lalu

    Texas, too. Sinking under the snow now..

  • future_death
    future_deathJam Yang lalu

    Well that seems like people problem.

  • Daddy XXX
    Daddy XXXJam Yang lalu

    I left my work because of that seek on-line this *g r e a t e a s y p a y*

  • Jay Bee
    Jay BeeJam Yang lalu

    This reminds me of the time Guam rolled over and sank. RIP Guamites.

  • Drini
    Drini2 jam yang lalu

    Or you become like the Netherlands gg wp

  • Ghostface 7
    Ghostface 72 jam yang lalu

    ♥️ Indonesia

  • Hawker Hurricane
    Hawker Hurricane2 jam yang lalu

    This is why we should care about politics, because it is directly affect our lives. As much disgust I have about the current Ahok Vs Anies on Twitter, I still have more respect to those keyboard warriors than people who choose to ignore politics altogether. At least they realize that politics do affect our daily life. Take USA for bad example, how their countrymen already distrust politician in general and how it affect their country. Not to mention their divisive and highly subjective joirnalism that didn't help. Indonesia will go to the same spiral of ignorance if this continue. I know you're already busy with life but at the very minimum choose your representatives in government properly and don't let those outside your city get their hand on it. You're the one who'll be affected, and you're the one who'll be responsible of your choice. If you choose to ignore politics don't be surprised when the one in politics ignore you as well.

  • Xavarius Quest
    Xavarius Quest2 jam yang lalu

    This process is exactly like that currently being experienced in Houston.

  • FAL
    FAL2 jam yang lalu

    What’s wrong with the Dutch people and the sea ?

  • Ryan Hannigan
    Ryan Hannigan2 jam yang lalu

    The mean hobbies endosonographically bow because gray prenatally file a a white viscose. absorbed, profuse magic

  • Irrelevantspace •
    Irrelevantspace •2 jam yang lalu

    I’ve always wondered if we’ll ever find a way to pump and clean ocean water to create drinking water for countries like this. Smart folks in the comments, let’s chat about it!

  • lee graves
    lee graves2 jam yang lalu

    Too many people just like Guam capsizing!

  • George Ealasaid
    George Ealasaid2 jam yang lalu

    The sweltering bucket suprisingly owe because oboe fundamentally cure lest a optimal sunflower. talented, educated snowman

  • Robert Andrews
    Robert Andrews2 jam yang lalu

    Why is Jakarta sinking? COVID vaccine and lockdown is not long enough to prevent this from becoming reality. Mat Handcock can fix for money if you friendly.

  • Koo Ik
    Koo Ik3 jam yang lalu

    You provide much information than local television/media never public... I just know from this video... sad 🙄

    RAAVAN ARMY3 jam yang lalu

    One more step towards apocalypse, be ready

  • ndoro bei
    ndoro bei3 jam yang lalu

    Texas, too. Sinking under the snow now..

  • navashanty krishnasamy
    navashanty krishnasamy3 jam yang lalu


  • M Ranjbar
    M Ranjbar3 jam yang lalu

    Wait are the dutch bad?

  • Bilal Musa
    Bilal Musa3 jam yang lalu

    The sad road prudently live because twilight interstingly welcome past a spotted loaf. holistic, lovely nickel

  • Major Sayak Chowdhury
    Major Sayak Chowdhury3 jam yang lalu

    Excellent.. I didn't know this urbanization problem, I presumed it would be something to do with global warming. Excellent indepth analisis.. keep up the good work.👍🏻

  • Asrul Farikin
    Asrul Farikin3 jam yang lalu

    This from very Old Video...

    ARIN HADI3 jam yang lalu

    kalau masih ada yg masih nyalahin gubernur udh nonton inih keterlaluan..

  • Alif R. Triyadi XII IPS 1 3
    Alif R. Triyadi XII IPS 1 33 jam yang lalu

    I live and grown up in Jakarta, when I celebrate my 4th birthday my house was flooded, and now while I'm watching this my house is also flooded, welp it is what it is

  • Guruprasad KM
    Guruprasad KM3 jam yang lalu

    Great documentary as usual !

  • rruysch
    rruysch3 jam yang lalu

    The Dutch government needs to help them lay water pipes not swindle them into expensive artificial island projects. Not only do they risk changing wave patterns but more coastal erosion. And who on earth thought it was a good idea to build a wall on sinking ground?

  • Pastor Nezuko
    Pastor Nezuko4 jam yang lalu

    Climate change: it'd be a real shame if someone was to melt the ice on antarctica

  • Wafi Seif Sungkar
    Wafi Seif Sungkar4 jam yang lalu

    Tell this to PDI-P, it's a hoax for them.

  • Mr.BlurBlur Kumar
    Mr.BlurBlur Kumar4 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta will be the Venice of the East, start preparing more gondolas for the influx of tourists.

  • Lonely Wanderer
    Lonely Wanderer4 jam yang lalu

    climate change - Dutch did not foresee this, obviously.

  • Agustinus Denny
    Agustinus Denny4 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta : Too much water Africa : Can you give us your water

  • Lonely Wanderer
    Lonely Wanderer4 jam yang lalu

    lots of places in Southeast Asia actually

  • Gregorius Peter Nobel Bestian
    Gregorius Peter Nobel Bestian4 jam yang lalu

    Actually the solution already been proposed since early 1990 but well the politics is ignored and locals likely to love gossip and unimportant news so ya thanks for remind us again vox about this, hope more people aware of this. just hope.

  • Bad Boys Hub
    Bad Boys Hub4 jam yang lalu

    Population control seems like something humans need to start considering.

  • 14 Days A Stolen Content A Day
    14 Days A Stolen Content A Day4 jam yang lalu

    Bandung : *_laughs in Gunung Tangkuban Perahu_*

  • Pratik Ubale
    Pratik Ubale4 jam yang lalu

    It's time to go to Mars!!

  • Jetson George
    Jetson George4 jam yang lalu

    So it is another Mexico City.

  • Lyri
    Lyri4 jam yang lalu

    Sis the way I don't even hear this much from the local news...

  • The Refuge Podcast
    The Refuge Podcast4 jam yang lalu

    This is the definition of I can’t be fuked

  • wesley agustian
    wesley agustian4 jam yang lalu

    Please don't ruin Kalimantan / Borneo the way Jakarta was

  • piet de zwart
    piet de zwart4 jam yang lalu

    by explaining that the watersupply was set up by the dutch at the time, it suggests that they are responsible for the problem nowadays, or at least for a part. this is not true. Indonesia has been independent since the 50'. so they have had plenty of time and money to do something about it. instead they let Jakarta grow into the monstercity it is today

  • Jhoronk24
    Jhoronk244 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta adalah Kota banjir

  • krisko bingo
    krisko bingo4 jam yang lalu

    i thought it was sinking because they didn't had VOX

  • TheRikkieh
    TheRikkieh4 jam yang lalu

    Please consider adding a content warning when randomly displaying misogynist hate symbols

  • Aiz Nurhali
    Aiz Nurhali5 jam yang lalu

    The solution is to return groundwater

  • Bit byBit
    Bit byBit5 jam yang lalu

    Well done Netherlands

  • Nathalia G
    Nathalia G5 jam yang lalu

    why all indonesians acts like their teacher didn't teach anything at school ? i am indonesian and i've known this since primary . that's why the government is moving . students noawadays don't have critical thinking .

  • Jorge Macias
    Jorge Macias5 jam yang lalu

    Yet another thing we can blame on Europeans

  • Garet Robertson
    Garet Robertson5 jam yang lalu

    8:05: Please start your y-axis at 0 (not 1 million).

  • Rzor Bolt
    Rzor Bolt5 jam yang lalu

    jokes on you, as an Indonesian i knew this is a government program to transform Jakarta into Venice

  • Allan Fadlansyah
    Allan Fadlansyah5 jam yang lalu

    This topic was never aired or published on national TV, so everyone is still unaware of this, and being ignorant to pump the soil water. I better start moving south then 😂

  • betzpt balmer
    betzpt balmer5 jam yang lalu

    The well-made climb intraorally punch because gore-tex spindly tempt sans a handsome metal. rigid, nippy deodorant

  • Rionion
    Rionion5 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta : *sinking Government : Oh no!, anyways.

  • Fluorineer
    Fluorineer5 jam yang lalu

    Jakartans: "our city is sinking" Venture capital firm: "let's build a giant bird-shaped island"

  • alif
    alif5 jam yang lalu

    We malaysians always pray for our brothers in indonesia. Stay safe 🙏

  • Bill Clinton
    Bill Clinton5 jam yang lalu

    "So the pipes under the city is pumping out ground water and the Indonesian government has given useless ideas" "BUT ITS ALL THE DUTCHS FAULT FOR COLONIALISM!!!!!!!!"

  • Yagskie Yagskie
    Yagskie Yagskie5 jam yang lalu

    8:57 You kidding me? Building a great wall? Titans are fictitious creatures!

  • amytyville
    amytyville5 jam yang lalu

    ah tau apa bule tentang Jakarta. Suruh mereka dateng dulu ! banjir tu bukan karena air. tapi karena Anies ! Hai bule you know Anies ? hahaha

  • Radio Silence

    Radio Silence

    2 jam yang lalu

    begonya orang ini

  • DivineSara Saradivine
    DivineSara Saradivine6 jam yang lalu


  • sakurakou2009
    sakurakou20096 jam yang lalu

    so the reason it sinking is human false , why am I not supprised 🙄

  • Notorious Cutie
    Notorious Cutie6 jam yang lalu

    God save those poor people

  • Sicao is dead
    Sicao is dead6 jam yang lalu

    Once again, my message after watching a Vox video... "Water no get enemy".

  • Kay wi
    Kay wi6 jam yang lalu

    What can i do to stop this....

  • Reinhart Gobel
    Reinhart Gobel6 jam yang lalu

    One of my mom friends live there

  • Velvet Petals
    Velvet Petals6 jam yang lalu

    I am surprised suddenly Vox talked about Jakarta😂

  • Yodha Arjuna
    Yodha Arjuna6 jam yang lalu

    Ok, time to write my capsule time

  • odzadze123
    odzadze1236 jam yang lalu

    8:11 the real problem here is that Jakarta population skyrocketed !!! Not Dutch colonial design, because already 70 years past and problems arose in last 20 years, so it is indonesian breeding overpopulation problem.

  • Sky duster
    Sky duster6 jam yang lalu

    So many ppl just happy blaming the government. AS IF they had done anything to help solve the problem. Maybe if they donate $1 to the cause per person before leaving a comment, Jakarta would have had a giant high tech dome capable of surviving underwater.

  • juniar baresi
    juniar baresi6 jam yang lalu

    Ndak bisa basa enggres

  • Itsridwaaan
    Itsridwaaan6 jam yang lalu

    Imagine that your capital city first minute in vox is destruction

  • Doc Tyler
    Doc Tyler6 jam yang lalu

    Wait...What? What about Global Warming? I thought these countries were in danger from sea level rise and would sink way before 2050?

  • Tube Screamer
    Tube Screamer6 jam yang lalu

    Solution Poor: Snorkel Rich: Scuba Diving gear

  • el grz 22
    el grz 226 jam yang lalu

    Keep relax, people +62 ☕😆 Jakarta is sinking, for 10 years this headline has been raised by dozens of foreign media 😎

  • M W
    M W6 jam yang lalu

    Sea level is not rising, that is a climate myth. Your living in a swamp and pumping the water out of the soil! Move or raise your house. Me sitting in the dark freezing is not going to help your situation.

  • Mr shark
    Mr shark6 jam yang lalu

    mampuss kampret,kadrun,cebong fpi mati kalian biar cepat punah..!! dan biar ibu kota cepat pindah ke borneo

  • __
    __6 jam yang lalu

    Welcome to jakarta waterpark

  • Look Left
    Look Left6 jam yang lalu

    Title : put something about indonesia Indonesia : aight boys this is our property now

  • nichoindo123
    nichoindo1236 jam yang lalu

    All i know Every Storm make Jakarta easier to be flooded

  • Zuperpro
    Zuperpro6 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta: sinking Me: *chuckle* we're in danger

  • sebastian tjendra
    sebastian tjendra6 jam yang lalu

    Im from here,and its true

  • Ibrahim Were
    Ibrahim Were6 jam yang lalu

    According to science, when population increases on the sea shores, a lot of weight is compressing the land and this increases the pressure exerted on the land and to the shallow water hence the lands sinks. Solution: Take people to the centre of the land on top of rocks

  • Gabriel Lima
    Gabriel Lima6 jam yang lalu

    Can’t they sue the Dutch? 😂

  • Arpit Yadav
    Arpit Yadav6 jam yang lalu

    Hammmm cooool

  • Crnoobie
    Crnoobie6 jam yang lalu

    it is those engineer who dont make sea walls properly what is the purpose of making a sea walls with hole? floods?

  • Happi TV
    Happi TV6 jam yang lalu

    This is so scaryyyy

  • bordiranku
    bordiranku6 jam yang lalu

    Dutch made Batavia for 800 thousand habitants now we have more than 8million. I'm singing up for future mars spacex mission.

  • Candice Walker
    Candice Walker6 jam yang lalu

    Freaking colonizers! Caused destruction them left

  • UnkownPov
    UnkownPov6 jam yang lalu

    The goverment helps when it floods but they do nothing to prevent it

  • Joe
    Joe7 jam yang lalu

    One tsunami, and Jakarta will be gone forever

  • 03 Sevi
    03 Sevi7 jam yang lalu

    The Dutch are responsible for this tragedy. Most of them won't admit it, but history has shaped the fate of Jakarta. I wish they come up with a solution before it's too late.