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


  1. Vox

    Vox14 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

  2. Om Prast

    Om Prast11 timmar sedan

    Wow, matur suwon

  3. Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari19 timmar sedan

    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

  4. Obama is Epic

    Obama is EpicDag sedan

    Mobile legend is Weird games.

  5. bilcanmuf gaming

    bilcanmuf gamingDag sedan

    Mobile legend is the best

  6. Jesse Newton

    Jesse NewtonDag sedan

    Could you cover South Korea's current political systems? I'm still amazed and curious as to how the Korean citizens have impacted the ex-president's impeachment.

  7. Danang Graito

    Danang Graito18 minuter sedan

    Yup... But don't worry, because in Jakarta, most religious people believes that "What's 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.

  8. Muris Halilovic

    Muris Halilovic57 minuter sedan

    Here is one solution make dutch pay for it.

  9. Sony Digital

    Sony DigitalTimme sedan

    poor indonesia

  10. Felipe Valdés

    Felipe Valdés2 timmar sedan

    Kenapa ga ada yg membahas tentang itu di Indonesia?

  11. Raymond Christopher Tanto

    Raymond Christopher TantoTimme sedan

    gatau sih

  12. Dustin

    Dustin2 timmar sedan

    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?

  13. Dustin

    Dustin2 timmar sedan

    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.

  14. dwiky hermawan

    dwiky hermawan3 timmar sedan

    Jakarta sinking bec lot of greedy ppl!

  15. good animation

    good animation3 timmar sedan

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

  16. L.K. Lim

    L.K. Lim5 timmar sedan

    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.

  17. 2011 Toyota Innova Type V Diesel

    2011 Toyota Innova Type V Diesel5 timmar sedan

    Indonesia need dutch

  18. Lisa Su

    Lisa Su5 timmar sedan

    build the city underwater problem solved.

  19. Muhammad Yasin

    Muhammad Yasin6 timmar sedan

    Saatnya siapin perahu . Pemerintah mencoba buta

  20. Ahmad Sanusi Hassan

    Ahmad Sanusi Hassan6 timmar sedan

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

  21. Kaia Jensen

    Kaia Jensen6 timmar sedan

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

  22. iPlay Gaming

    iPlay Gaming6 timmar sedan

    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

  23. Tulus Aris Sugianto

    Tulus Aris Sugianto6 timmar sedan

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

  24. Tanishq Singh Bajwa

    Tanishq Singh Bajwa7 timmar sedan

    Dutch government deleting comments again

  25. Baldwin xu

    Baldwin xu7 timmar sedan

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

  26. Alexander Pinkerton

    Alexander Pinkerton8 timmar sedan

    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...

  27. Dustin

    Dustin2 timmar sedan

    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.

  28. El

    El8 timmar sedan

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

  29. Apalaharti Sebuahnama

    Apalaharti Sebuahnama9 timmar sedan

    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.

  30. Ahmad Ganteng

    Ahmad Ganteng9 timmar sedan

    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..

  31. Mechelle Kingman

    Mechelle Kingman10 timmar sedan

    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

  32. Not Ariq

    Not Ariq10 timmar sedan

    Salute from indonesia neighbour , Malaysia

  33. Rizky Gusna

    Rizky Gusna10 timmar sedan

    Netflix original: "Jakarta Sinks 2050"

  34. Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling

    Bitchesa mae Biglangtambling10 timmar sedan

    Free west papua! Give back the freedom

  35. Free Man

    Free Man11 timmar sedan

    So Allah is becoming Islamophobic

  36. Jason yu

    Jason yu11 timmar sedan

    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.

  37. Be Yourself

    Be Yourself11 timmar sedan

    Hello, Indonesians 🇮🇩 We will not know what will happen in the future? As time goes by, not only the Indonesian government is taking responsible but all Indonesian citizens must take part. I believe this problem can be reduced slowly, we are a big country remember that!

  38. Rafi Haidar

    Rafi Haidar11 timmar sedan

    Oh so you wanna flood come here -jakarta

  39. Farhan Mirza M

    Farhan Mirza M11 timmar sedan

    Mr jokowi, any solution?

  40. Rainbow LOVE

    Rainbow LOVE13 timmar sedan

    Solution: build farther away from the sea.

  41. satria nugraha

    satria nugraha14 timmar sedan

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

  42. Rahel Ulina

    Rahel Ulina15 timmar sedan

    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

  43. ルナ

    ルナ17 timmar sedan

    Europeans ruined everything....

  44. LeoDaGoat

    LeoDaGoat12 timmar sedan

    Exactly lol

  45. Aaron Grey

    Aaron Grey17 timmar sedan

    Its karma for what they are doing in West Papua

  46. Kαɳԃα Kσყσ

    Kαɳԃα KσყσTimme sedan

    What did they do?

  47. Kono

    Kono3 timmar sedan

    Boo hoo

  48. Steven Maniscalco

    Steven Maniscalco18 timmar sedan

    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?

  49. chrizzly dizzly

    chrizzly dizzly18 timmar sedan

    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

  50. Kocheng Oren

    Kocheng Oren18 timmar sedan

    I Know what the civillian saying...

  51. Kocheng Oren

    Kocheng Oren19 timmar sedan

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

  52. Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari19 timmar sedan


  53. Kareem Kalisari

    Kareem Kalisari19 timmar sedan

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

  54. Fellisya Margareth

    Fellisya Margareth21 timme sedan

    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.

  55. Fellisya Margareth

    Fellisya Margareth6 timmar sedan

    @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.

  56. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    they only care which is haram has pork meat bla bla

  57. Cannn Thonnn

    Cannn Thonnn21 timme sedan

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

  58. Dr. dumplings

    Dr. dumplings19 timmar sedan

    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.

  59. Boen

    Boen22 timmar sedan

    25 cm per year?! That is incomprehensible

  60. YahBoiHammy

    YahBoiHammy22 timmar sedan

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

  61. ThatOne AnimeGuy

    ThatOne AnimeGuy22 timmar sedan

    i dont like colord people

  62. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    @LeoDaGoat japanese are east asian not dirti Southeast asian

  63. LeoDaGoat

    LeoDaGoat12 timmar sedan

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

  64. Vladimir Villiani

    Vladimir Villiani23 timmar sedan

    we should take Jakarta, and PUSH IT somewhere else !

  65. MarvelousSandstone

    MarvelousSandstoneDag sedan

    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.

  66. hello

    helloDag sedan

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

  67. LeoDaGoat

    LeoDaGoat12 timmar sedan

    gazer gazer

  68. clynt

    clyntDag sedan

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

  69. Ushio Gaming

    Ushio GamingDag sedan

    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?

  70. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    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

  71. CJ Does Random Things

    CJ Does Random ThingsDag sedan

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

  72. J. P.

    J. P.16 timmar sedan

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

  73. Suria Nikki

    Suria NikkiDag sedan

    Maybe Atlantis become real if this keep happening.

  74. widi baka

    widi bakaDag sedan

    very informative

  75. Tim Beckman

    Tim BeckmanDag sedan

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

  76. FreaknJoshwa

    FreaknJoshwaDag sedan

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

  77. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

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

  78. Rahmad Mhirza

    Rahmad MhirzaDag sedan

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

  79. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    bukannya krn lupa ksh sesajen ke allah

  80. suman BAraL

    suman BAraLDag sedan

    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.

  81. Qaedi Nahri

    Qaedi NahriDag sedan

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


    DESTI ALICYADag sedan

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

  83. Abdul Aziz Farhan

    Abdul Aziz FarhanDag sedan

    Wonderful Jakarta

  84. MultiCappie

    MultiCappieDag sedan

    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.

  85. yasio bolo

    yasio boloDag sedan

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

  86. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    more like knock off atlantis.....

  87. yasio bolo

    yasio boloDag sedan

    Malu bro

  88. Kokave7

    Kokave7Dag sedan

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

  89. Juan Rocha

    Juan RochaDag sedan

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

  90. sabiq rusydi

    sabiq rusydiDag sedan

    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

  91. Patricks Perezases

    Patricks PerezasesDag sedan

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

  92. PG ET

    PG ETDag sedan

    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.

  93. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

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

  94. Valaryant

    Valaryant7 timmar sedan

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

  95. PG ET

    PG ET10 timmar sedan

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

  96. Daniel Francis

    Daniel Francis16 timmar sedan

    Wow that is the EXACT SAME Thing I was thinking...like the entire point of telling the history was to place blame Like you're really going to blame something that happened in 1600 to why the system is failing in 2021....and after showing how other neighboring regions were able to solve the same problem.....just wow

  97. Valaryant

    Valaryant23 timmar sedan

    Yeah, that bothered me as well, big emphasis in the evil conquerors (which of course they always are) and quite little about the insignificant effort of the actual government to fix things. Btw, the news outlets there seldom talk about this problem, I wonder why.

  98. Vincent S

    Vincent SDag sedan

    That bird shaped island is such a joke proposal.

  99. Tourist From Earth

    Tourist From Earth2 dagar sedan

    orang indonesia dekil2 ya.. jarang mandi..

  100. Chanel Coco

    Chanel Coco2 dagar sedan

    dutch's fault

  101. [•The Na-Nau Teams•]

    [•The Na-Nau Teams•]2 dagar sedan

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

  102. Allberthous

    Allberthous10 timmar sedan


  103. Snodge Kat

    Snodge Kat2 dagar sedan

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

  104. Jameel Miah

    Jameel Miah2 dagar sedan

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

  105. Re

    Re2 dagar sedan

    Biarin dah biar seluruh dunia tau, nh loh indonesia

  106. La Alegancia

    La Alegancia2 dagar sedan

    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 dagar sedan

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

  108. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

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


    PINK BLACK TXBDag sedan

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

  110. Mini M

    Mini MDag sedan

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

  111. lol lol

    lol lol2 dagar sedan

    Save myanmar

  112. lol lol

    lol lol2 dagar sedan

    Save Myanmar

  113. RHN [AMV]

    RHN [AMV]2 dagar sedan

    Malu bro

  114. Ridho Wiranatakusumah

    Ridho Wiranatakusumah2 dagar sedan

    udah tau dr smp sekara umur 25 org jakarta pada sadar ya

  115. Ridho Wiranatakusumah

    Ridho Wiranatakusumah2 dagar sedan

    i already know this since jhs thanks vox

  116. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester2 dagar sedan

    Really interesting video. Storm ponds help with collecting water as well.

  117. Gustavo Machado

    Gustavo Machado2 dagar sedan

    jakarta is killing itself....

  118. Haeun Kim

    Haeun Kim2 dagar sedan

    Thank you for this educational video- I did not know that sinking was such a serious problem in Jakarta. Instead of planning to move the capital city to elsewhere, the Indonesian government should seriously think of ways to solve the problem.

  119. Eriko

    Eriko2 dagar sedan

    Good documentary, but you forgot to mention how overpopulated Jakarta is. It's not all Dutch's fault.


    DESTI ALICYADag sedan

    I agree, it’s not all the dutch fault, but I think it was a take that specifically highlight on how ridiculously BAD and WIDE the impact of colonialism is.


    DESTI ALICYADag sedan

    It’s kinda self explanatory to me. The dutch made Jakarta its’ center for trades, governance, etc and it attracts + nurture modern civilization until now. In a way, that caused significant reason for people to keep moving in to Jakarta. That’s why the government is planning to move our capital city, or at least to move the whole governing thing on another place, making a concept of washington U.S. and new york city or some sorts. I’d doubt it’d become less populated but lets see🙁 at this point they have to move at an URGENT pace or else time will run out

  122. Andry f

    Andry f2 dagar sedan

    I am from flores indonesia..smart explanations👋👋👋👋


    G . DHANESHWAR2 dagar sedan

    Very gud

  124. NPJ Global

    NPJ Global2 dagar sedan

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

  125. shikamaru012

    shikamaru0122 dagar 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.

  126. Noah Brown

    Noah Brown2 dagar sedan

    The Dutch need to read that bible

  127. Aprian Wijaya

    Aprian Wijaya2 dagar sedan

    Two words: so devastating.

  128. Sohilah Nazir

    Sohilah Nazir2 dagar 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.

  129. Luna Ssr

    Luna Ssr2 dagar sedan

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

  130. Kath Parreno

    Kath Parreno2 dagar 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

  131. Kath Parreno

    Kath Parreno2 dagar 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 .

  132. Kath Parreno

    Kath Parreno2 dagar sedan

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

  133. Kath Parreno

    Kath Parreno5 timmar sedan

    @Miranda lambert yeah right

  134. Miranda lambert

    Miranda lambert7 timmar sedan

    and corruption.....

  135. Hisui Ryu

    Hisui Ryu2 dagar sedan

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

  136. Billy H

    Billy H2 dagar sedan

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