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


  • Vox
    Vox14 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

  • Rynaldy Cavdra

    Rynaldy Cavdra

    7 jam yang lalu

    I explain about Indonesia again plzz,,,

  • Om Prast

    Om Prast

    Hari Yang lalu

    Wow, matur suwon

  • Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari

    Hari Yang lalu

    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

  • Obama is Epic

    Obama is Epic

    Hari Yang lalu

    Mobile legend is Weird games.

  • bilcanmuf gaming

    bilcanmuf gaming

    Hari Yang lalu

    Mobile legend is the best

  • Quttubuddin Al Abin Aibak Ulf Sheikh
    Quttubuddin Al Abin Aibak Ulf Sheikh14 menit yang lalu

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

  • ken PRIVATE
    ken PRIVATE2 jam yang lalu

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

  • anjali mathur
    anjali mathur2 jam yang lalu

    European powers really messed up a lot!

    MUHAMMAD RAFI ADITYA2 jam yang lalu

    im life in surabaya

  • Lotusamb Jeruk

    Lotusamb Jeruk

    Jam Yang lalu

    no one asked

  • Dogma
    Dogma3 jam yang lalu

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

  • EpicSayGamer
    EpicSayGamer4 jam yang lalu

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

  • EpicSayGamer
    EpicSayGamer4 jam yang lalu

    If only trump was still the us president

  • Danang Graito
    Danang Graito4 jam yang lalu

    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
    Hendrianjayyy5 jam yang lalu

    Can't wait

  • Jeanelle Lagrimas
    Jeanelle Lagrimas5 jam yang lalu

    Very informative ✨

  • funkiemonkie
    funkiemonkie6 jam yang lalu

    bro just move

  • Kany Sabila
    Kany Sabila6 jam yang lalu

    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 Talib7 jam yang lalu

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

  • Visal Hendraa
    Visal Hendraa7 jam yang lalu

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

  • Rynaldy Cavdra
    Rynaldy Cavdra7 jam yang lalu

    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 Sou8 jam yang lalu

    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)

  • avarice seven
    avarice seven8 jam yang lalu

    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?

  • Ya Boi Boris
    Ya Boi Boris8 jam yang lalu

    So once again it's societys fault

  • Capital A
    Capital A9 jam yang lalu

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

  • Be Yourself
    Be Yourself10 jam yang lalu

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

  • Ker Loz
    Ker Loz10 jam yang lalu

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

  • Muris Halilovic
    Muris Halilovic13 jam yang lalu

    Here is one solution make dutch pay for it.

  • Sony Digital
    Sony Digital14 jam yang lalu

    poor indonesia

  • Felipe Valdés
    Felipe Valdés14 jam yang lalu

    Kenapa ga ada yg membahas tentang itu di Indonesia?

  • Noir.


    Jam Yang lalu

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

  • Muhammad Mirza Arroyyan

    Muhammad Mirza Arroyyan

    4 jam yang lalu

    Yang lagi viral radikal radikul sama politik setempat doang gan. Lebih hot soalnya.

  • robi darwis

    robi darwis

    5 jam yang lalu

    Ada kok cuman kadang buat kepentingan media / partai :(

  • Raymond Christopher Tanto

    Raymond Christopher Tanto

    13 jam yang lalu

    gatau sih

  • Dustin
    Dustin15 jam yang lalu

    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?

  • Dustin
    Dustin15 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • dwiky hermawan
    dwiky hermawan15 jam yang lalu

    Jakarta sinking bec lot of greedy ppl!

  • good animation
    good animation15 jam yang lalu

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

  • L.K. Lim
    L.K. Lim17 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • 2011 Toyota Innova Type V Diesel
    2011 Toyota Innova Type V Diesel17 jam yang lalu

    Indonesia need dutch

  • Lisa Su
    Lisa Su18 jam yang lalu

    build the city underwater problem solved.

  • Muhammad Yasin
    Muhammad Yasin18 jam yang lalu

    Saatnya siapin perahu . Pemerintah mencoba buta

  • Ahmad Sanusi Hassan
    Ahmad Sanusi Hassan18 jam yang lalu

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

  • Kaia Jensen
    Kaia Jensen18 jam yang lalu

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

  • iPlay Gaming
    iPlay Gaming18 jam yang lalu

    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

  • Tulus Aris Sugianto
    Tulus Aris Sugianto19 jam yang lalu

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

  • Tanishq Singh Bajwa
    Tanishq Singh Bajwa19 jam yang lalu

    Dutch government deleting comments again

  • Baldwin xu
    Baldwin xu20 jam yang lalu

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

  • Alexander Pinkerton
    Alexander Pinkerton20 jam yang lalu

    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...

  • Dustin


    15 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • El
    El20 jam yang lalu

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

  • Apalaharti Sebuahnama
    Apalaharti Sebuahnama21 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • Ahmad Ganteng
    Ahmad Ganteng22 jam yang lalu

    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..

  • Mechelle Kingman
    Mechelle Kingman22 jam yang lalu

    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

  • Not Ariq
    Not Ariq22 jam yang lalu

    Salute from indonesia neighbour , Malaysia

  • Rizky Gusna
    Rizky Gusna22 jam yang lalu

    Netflix original: "Jakarta Sinks 2050"

  • Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling
    Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling23 jam yang lalu

    Free west papua! Give back the freedom

  • Free Man
    Free Man23 jam yang lalu

    So Allah is becoming Islamophobic

  • Jason yu
    Jason yu23 jam yang lalu

    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.

  • Rafi Haidar
    Rafi Haidar23 jam yang lalu

    Oh so you wanna flood come here -jakarta

  • Farhan Mirza M
    Farhan Mirza M23 jam yang lalu

    Mr jokowi, any solution?

  • Rainbow LOVE
    Rainbow LOVEHari Yang lalu

    Solution: build farther away from the sea.

  • satria nugraha MERAKyat'Teh`TariK'
    satria nugraha MERAKyat'Teh`TariK'Hari Yang lalu

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

  • Rahel Ulina
    Rahel UlinaHari Yang lalu

    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

  • ルナ
    ルナHari Yang lalu

    Europeans ruined everything....

  • LeoDaGoat


    Hari Yang lalu

    Exactly lol

  • Aaron Grey
    Aaron GreyHari Yang lalu

    Its karma for what they are doing in West Papua

  • Kαɳԃα Kσყσ

    Kαɳԃα Kσყσ

    13 jam yang lalu

    What did they do?

  • Kono


    15 jam yang lalu

    Boo hoo

  • Steven Maniscalco
    Steven ManiscalcoHari Yang lalu

    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?

  • chrizzly dizzly
    chrizzly dizzlyHari Yang lalu

    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

  • Kocheng Oren
    Kocheng OrenHari Yang lalu

    I Know what the civillian saying...

  • Kocheng Oren
    Kocheng OrenHari Yang lalu

    As An Indonesian...i want to say IM *Not* On *Jakarta* ... *BUT* *IM* *HECC* *RIGHT* *NEXT* *TO* *IT* ... *yeah* *DEPOK* *CITY*

  • Kareem Kalisari
    Kareem KalisariHari Yang lalu


  • Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari

    Hari Yang lalu

    Oh, When you smile... It makes me smile... When you cry... I can’t help but cry.... __________________ INDONESIAN

  • Fellisya Margareth
    Fellisya MargarethHari Yang lalu

    Looks like no one in this country really care about this. They were being way too ignorant and careless. Even though the citizens here knows about this, do you expect them to do something about it? They'll probably just stay at their home, praying to God for mercy and blessings. It's sad to see this historical land is going to sink, soon. If we don't do anything about this, we might risk billions of lives in danger. The other foreign's media pays more attention than this country's media and citizens.

  • Fellisya Margareth

    Fellisya Margareth

    18 jam yang lalu

    @Miranda lambert True. This country is a really religious country, and as you know, majority of this country's citizens are those economics situation who's below the sufficient. Is it because this country is overpopulated? No. This country is not overpopulated, the citizens here just aren't that migrant type of people. They decide to stay at one city/island until it's very populated. Plus, the government already tried to solve this problem but as what I heard, the citizens reject a project that the government have been doing and they discontinued the project. I'm apologize if the informations I'm giving are wrong (correct me if I'm wrong, thank you). Thank you for reading this comment, have a great day.

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    they only care which is haram has pork meat bla bla

  • Cannn Thonnn
    Cannn ThonnnHari Yang lalu

    Dutch people were A S S H O L E S....thinking themselves superior to indigenous Indonesians!!

  • Dr. dumplings

    Dr. dumplings

    Hari Yang lalu

    as a dutchman, i can only say: je moet je bek houden want ik had je vader kunnen zijn als je moeder niet zo duur was.

  • Boen
    BoenHari Yang lalu

    25 cm per year?! That is incomprehensible

  • YahBoiHammy
    YahBoiHammyHari Yang lalu

    The lopsided pakistan gully spray because stream subcellularly chew along a obsolete state. sharp, wealthy gray

  • ThatOne AnimeGuy
    ThatOne AnimeGuyHari Yang lalu

    i dont like colord people

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    @LeoDaGoat japanese are east asian not dirti Southeast asian

  • LeoDaGoat


    Hari Yang lalu

    But yet everything on your channel was made by colored people lol

  • Vladimir Villiani
    Vladimir VillianiHari Yang lalu

    we should take Jakarta, and PUSH IT somewhere else !

  • MarvelousSandstone
    MarvelousSandstoneHari Yang lalu

    My city was also built on a swamp but lucky for us also built in the middle of the country so we can't really sink into the ocean. This is heartbreaking. All these people losing everything.

  • hello
    helloHari Yang lalu

    1:57 i thought they were ganna say because they aren't subbed to vox

  • LeoDaGoat


    Hari Yang lalu

    gazer gazer

  • clynt
    clyntHari Yang lalu

    Unrelated to the topic but, I wanna learn how you make these videos. The slight coppyness of the animations looks polished

  • Ushio Gaming
    Ushio GamingHari Yang lalu

    On 02:48, think about this Jakartans, Governor Anis said rain downpour should entered the soil instead of align it to the sea. He's not wrong then?

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    except that its impossible to do soo. and its useless compared to the water being used..... he has peanut for brain but hey as long as he is native... thank god i live in singapore malaysia

  • CJ Does Random Things
    CJ Does Random ThingsHari Yang lalu

    I'm looking for a comment that says: "Raised to the ground?"

  • J. P.

    J. P.

    Hari Yang lalu

    They said "razed," which means "destroyed completely." It sounds the same as "raised" but has a different meaning.

  • Suria Nikki
    Suria NikkiHari Yang lalu

    Maybe Atlantis become real if this keep happening.

  • widi baka
    widi bakaHari Yang lalu

    very informative

  • Tim Beckman
    Tim BeckmanHari Yang lalu

    Make the Dutch government pay to modernize the water distribution to all Jakarta's citizens

  • FreaknJoshwa
    FreaknJoshwaHari Yang lalu

    Can we start blaming these colonizers for ruining countries’ culture, belief, traditions and depleting OUR resources for THEIR own gains!?

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    that also happen 70 years ago otherwise yall be living like cavemen with burming torches, no electricity no lamp

  • Rahmad Mhirza
    Rahmad MhirzaHari Yang lalu

    Vox ini mengada-ada. Jakarta itu tenggelam karena melanggar sunnatullah.

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    bukannya krn lupa ksh sesajen ke allah

  • suman BAraL
    suman BAraLHari Yang lalu

    At the very beginning , a pagoda style mosque ??? That shape is a Hindu temple , isn’t it ? Okay this video ends in 15 seconds 😂😂😂 with causes and solutions for the drowning Indonesia.

  • Rajkaran Virk

    Rajkaran Virk

    7 jam yang lalu

    Well, it would be the shape of a Buddhist temple not Hindu, and the reason it is a pagoda style mosque is because Indonesia was heavily influence by China.

  • Qaedi Nahri
    Qaedi NahriHari Yang lalu

    8:55 Orange Dude : "Did someone say *WALLS* ?"

    DESTI ALICYAHari Yang lalu

    another day another take on how bad the impact of colonialism is.. 😁 I love it lol. Thanks vox!!

  • Abdul Aziz Farhan
    Abdul Aziz FarhanHari Yang lalu

    Wonderful Jakarta

  • MultiCappie
    MultiCappieHari Yang lalu

    Maybe instead of focusing your energy on worshipping things you can't even know exist, you should focus your energy on what you can know.

  • yasio bolo
    yasio boloHari Yang lalu

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

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    more like knock off atlantis.....

  • yasio bolo

    yasio bolo

    Hari Yang lalu

    Malu bro

  • Kokave7
    Kokave72 hari yang lalu

    To my fellow indonesians.. Don't live in jakarta if you can.

  • Juan Rocha
    Juan Rocha2 hari yang lalu

    The powerful pink grossly blot because leg substantially prefer concerning a sour tax. magical, difficult skiing

  • sabiq rusydi
    sabiq rusydi2 hari yang lalu

    It's still boggling me how you mostly blame the Dutch. No one in Indonesia and Jakarta blame Dutch for the bad city planning, it's the peoples and the government problems

  • Patricks Perezases
    Patricks Perezases2 hari yang lalu

    Thanks for this video coverage and documentary......

  • PG ET
    PG ET2 hari yang lalu

    This documentary puts an emphasis on the responsibility of the Dutch designers and lack of maintenance of the canals thereafter. It is just briefly mentioned that Jakarta's population rose from 1,5 M in 1950 (Indonesia's independence) to about 11 M today, making of the distribution of the piped water a quite different challenge than 70 years ago. And clearly, during this time period, the Indonesian government didn't do much for his people, though its financial resources were important.

  • puffpuffin1


    8 jam yang lalu

    The government did start constructing water pipes, but it wasn't enough. Didn't you see the chart? The infrastructure and city design with canals designed to segregate only made this more challenging. I'm not completely discounting government corruption, but there are many pieces to the puzzle that this documentary did not show that would be needed to pipe the whole city. The way the streets are laid out is a BIG part of a water system, and you discounting the Dutch influence through their LEVELING of the city and rebuilding it via segregational ways only shows your ignorance. To me, the Indonsian government really needs to light the torch under the Dutch government's feet to help pay for the cost to construct water piping through out the city. The fact that the seawall planned by them is still not complete only shows their lack of responsibility for their horrendous actions.

  • puffpuffin1


    8 jam yang lalu

    ​@Daniel Francis How do you know what the neighboring region's infrastructure was like when then started installing water pipes? They probably didn't have canals that were purposely built to segregate the city. It's a lot harder to build continuous pipes along a street if they keep intersecting canals. The Dutch LEVELED the city. Did the conquerors level Shanghai, Taiwan? Nope. Tokyo wasn't even conquered so they didn't have to deal with conquerors.

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    fyi no one in Indonesia ever blame the dutch....... they blame it all corrupt lazy government with even more corrupt goverment officials

  • Valaryant


    19 jam yang lalu

    @PG ET Yeah, quite disgusting if u ask me.

  • PG ET

    PG ET

    22 jam yang lalu

    @Valaryant You'll always find, especially in the media, people trying to rewrite history for their own purpose.

  • Vincent S
    Vincent S2 hari yang lalu

    That bird shaped island is such a joke proposal.

  • Tourist From Earth
    Tourist From Earth2 hari yang lalu

    orang indonesia dekil2 ya.. jarang mandi..

  • Chanel Coco
    Chanel Coco2 hari yang lalu

    dutch's fault

  • [•The Na-Nau Teams•]
    [•The Na-Nau Teams•]2 hari yang lalu

    Tempat tinggal saya di bogor, dan setiap bogor hujan,pasti jakarta yang banjir:'

  • Allberthous


    22 jam yang lalu


  • Snodge Kat
    Snodge Kat2 hari yang lalu

    What horrors CAN’T colonialism do? what a horrific legacy.

  • Jameel Miah
    Jameel Miah2 hari yang lalu

    Seems like most of the problems in the world today are one way or another connected to colonialism or western imperialism 🙄

  • Re
    Re2 hari yang lalu

    Biarin dah biar seluruh dunia tau, nh loh indonesia

  • La Alegancia
    La Alegancia2 hari yang lalu

    This case will never end!! coz u know what Indonesian citizen mindset is "what ever the leader is capable or not, as long as they're Muslim it's ok, we support them" smh🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    PINK BLACK TXB2 hari yang lalu

    Actually Jakarta has a lot of good things, but in this video what is shot is only bad

  • Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert

    19 jam yang lalu

    @Mini M because one create money to spend touring europe and buying branded bags ...... the other one requires a lot of money and sweat



    Hari Yang lalu

    @Mini M I also don't know because I'm not the president

  • Mini M

    Mini M

    2 hari yang lalu

    a lot of good things built on sinking ground. How about build pipes for people first instead of skyscrapers and malls

  • lol lol
    lol lol2 hari yang lalu

    Save myanmar

  • lol lol
    lol lol2 hari yang lalu

    Save Myanmar

  • RHN [AMV]
    RHN [AMV]2 hari yang lalu

    Malu bro