13 Aug
  • By Aizhana Danabekova

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is sinking

Jakarta, one of the largest cities on the planet and the capital of Indonesia, goes underwater at a speed of 20-25 cm per year – faster than any other city in the world. For comparison, Venice is drowning at a speed of 2 mm per year. More than half of the city’s districts now lie below sea level. The authorities declared the capital as a zone of alarm. If you do nothing, the city will soon completely go under the water.

It should be noted that hydrologists say that North Jakarta, where about four million people live, will be underwater in ten years. The flooding is caused by wells, from which residents take drinking water, draining the land under the city. Currently, the government is building sea walls to protect residents from the disaster, but this is nothing more than delaying the inevitable because the cause of the problem is not the rise of the ocean, but the subsidence of the ground. The government is trying to find a way out of this situation, but nothing is going to happen, in any case, the rescue of Jakarta will be lengthy and costly.

Ramshackle homes on stilts by a waterway in Jakarta, Indonesia, an area with some of the worldÕs most polluted canals and rivers, Nov. 10, 2017. Many of the rural poor have settled in Jakarta in informal developments, or kampungs, that cluster along canals, their houses teetering above the water on stilts, the waterways underneath becoming default sewers. (Josh Haner/The New York Times)

Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.  She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.