Rising waters : Indonesia’s Capital Could be Moved

Updated: Mar 12

While a relentless war between the President of the United States and an outspoken 16 year old girl about who has the most twitter followers is happening in the high spheres of the world. Let's see what the long-term effects of global warming on the cities and countries of the world are.

October 24th, 2019, A new report from scientists shows that if nothing is done in the next few years, the sea-level could rise to 1 meter from now to 2100. It is a crucial concern to the point where countries start to move entire cities. This is the case with Jakarta of Indonesia.

Jakarta is one of the most populated cities in the world, with 11 million inhabitants, but also one of the most contaminated and probably the most affected by rising waters. The city will have to move during the next few years. Indeed, a part of the town is already underwater, and for the rest of the city, it is a time bomb protected by a thin dike. In the case of flood or high tide, the waters threaten entire neighborhoods.

What is even more worrying is that Jakarta also is sinking from 5 to 10 centimeters per year because of overpopulation. Inhabitants pump the waters from phreatic tables and consequently, the ground collapses. In 2050, a third of the city will be underwater. Up to now, the answer from the authorities was to increase the height of the dike every six months, but this solution is not enough anymore. Therefore, they decided to move the capital city more than 1000 kilometers away, somewhere on Borneo Island in a dry region.

B. Brodjonegoro - Minister of Research and Technology

The place where the capital is supposed to be settled, for the moment, is just a forest. Everything has to be built again, and a Minister has been named to complete this project successfully. According to the Indonesian government, the first civil servants will be able to move in around 2024. From now Jakarta will still receive money from the government to survive, and the new capital will be built thanks to private investments, announced Bambang Brodjonegoro, the Minister in charge of the new capital city. He also emphasizes on the fact that the government won't let anybody down in Jakarta.

However, the government's plans to move the capital city seem to be very ambitious, especially given that Jakarta is not the only Indonesian city to take water. All of Java's north coast (the island where Jakarta is) is sinking, and cities have already been submerged. In some cities, water goes into buildings every two weeks, and it allows unthinkable scenes to happen: classes take place with students seated on the tables with water up to their knees.

Despite the promises of the government, most of the people don't have enough money to move to drier places, and they fear that the capital moving will leave them with even less money to protect themselves from rising waters.

February 2020, H. AGdC.