Where is the capital of Indonesia

Jakarta is sinking - Indonesia is building a new capital

From TRAVELBOOK | December 02, 2020, 6:11 am

The soil in Jakarta sinks by 20 centimeters every year - and the sea water rises. The capital of Indonesia is slowly sinking, in ten years the north of the city could be permanently under water. That's why a new capital should be found.

The mega-city Jakarta threatens to go under. Currently, 20 percent of the metropolis is already below sea level. The Bandung Institute of Technology (BIT) predicts that it will be between 35 and 40 percent by 2050. The situation is worst in the coastal districts in Jakarta's north, where the city's poorest residents live.

Here the ground sags by around 20 centimeters every year, as reported by wetter.at. There is hardly any other big city in the world that is drowning so quickly. For comparison: In Venice the ground sinks by 2 millimeters every year, so North Jakarta sinks a hundred times as fast.

A metropolis of millions sinks into the sea

The FOITT assumes that the poor district of Muara Baru will be 95 percent submerged in 30 years. There will be no other parts of the city either. The terrifying prognosis affects more than 30 million people directly. This is how many inhabitants the capital of the world's most populous Muslim country has. In total, there are more than 265 million people in Indonesia.

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The dramatic situation is most evident at the Wall Adhuna Mosque: in 2005 the church was left to the sea, and nobody has prayed here since then. Today, a protective wall is supposed to protect the buildings nearby from a similar fate. The protective wall in the north of the city is 14 kilometers long and is said to have a leak, as reported by "Deutschlandfunk". It is not well built and the rising water level is putting more pressure on the wall. According to "Deutschlandfunk", that is the reason for the leaks. On the other side of the wall, life continues two meters below the water level.

Why is Jakarta sinking?

Climate change plays a major role in the phenomenon. The sea level also rises three millimeters a year in Jakarta. In addition, the city has grown rapidly, town planning was never an issue. The metropolis is completely built with asphalt and concrete. When it rains, the water drains away very slowly - and it rains a lot.

There is another problem that is damaging the foundations of the city - there is no reliable water supply. Only a little more than half of the households are connected to the central water network. The others pump the water out of the ground themselves: by hand or with electric pumps, reports the news portal “n-tv”. In this way, the underground of the city is vacuumed empty and collapses. Asphalt and concrete ensure that the tropical rain cannot fill the reservoirs. The rainwater cannot seep away and flows back into the sea almost unused.

Plan B for Indonesia's capital

Water refugees can now settle on artificial islands 20 kilometers outside the city. But the government has a more complex plan: Indonesia is to get a new capital. It should no longer be on the island of Java, on which Jakarta is located, but on Borneo. This is the third largest island in the world, the area of ​​which is shared by Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

The new seat of government is to be built halfway between the major cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda, there is still jungle there. The "FAZ" compares the selected location with the Thuringian Forest. President Joko Widodo argues that Borneo is less affected by natural disasters. The new city does not yet have a name - but the first officials should move to the new capital as early as 2024, and it should be fully functional in 2045. But the corona pandemic has put the project on hold for the time being. The Asian Post reported that one wanted to deal with the situation after fighting the virus.

The slum dwellers in Jakarta, who suffer most from the city's decline, will probably have to continue to live in the city. To the "New York Times" said the climate change advisor to the incumbent governor, Irvan Pulungan: "It is quite conceivable that Jakarta could end as a failed city".

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In addition to the water that continues to penetrate the city, Jakarta is grappling with a huge traffic problem. In addition, there are hardly any green spaces in the city and its rivers are extremely polluted, and the earth shakes regularly.

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