Episode 84: Jakarta Underwater: Discussing the January 2020 Flooding

In this episode, we talk about the dramatic flooding that plagued Jakarta and its neighboring cities on New Year’s Day 2020. We give our reactions to the news of the flooding that, as of January 6, has claimed 66 lives and continues to displace hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. There have been reports saying that floodwater reached up to 6m (19 feet) tall in some homes, completely destroying it and, in the process, destroying people’s lives and livelihoods. We discuss responses to this natural disaster, in particular the Jakarta government’s response as led by Governor Anies Baswedan. Many people have criticized the governor for the lack of preparation and poor planning — as well as the significant slash in the budget allocated for flood mitigation — that has led to the city experiencing one of the worst floods in the last twenty years.

Ultimately, when disasters like this strike, it is not those in power nor people like us, who are privileged and have options, that are most impacted — it is the poorest of the poor who are most vulnerable to these situations, and whose lives have been completely turned upside down because of it. 

For those who want to donate to flood relief efforts, you can do so here: 

We also want to give a mention to the devastating bushfires in Australia right now — our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by that disaster. You can find out how to help here

Thanks for listening!

For those interested in learning more about the topic, we’ve provided links to resources as well as other recommended readings.
66 people now killed by flooding in Jakarta, and more rain appears to be on the way — courtesy of CNN
Jakarta floods: recovery effort begins as city counts cost of worst deluge in a decade — courtesy of the Guardian
Jakarta Spends More on Formula E Race Than on Preventing Floods — courtesy of the Jakarta Globe
Anies soal Banjir Jakarta: 85 Persen Air Bisa Dikendalikan — Anies’ Response to the Floods, courtesy of CNN Indonesia
Menakar Jurus Anies Baswedan dalam Pengendalian Banjir Jakarta — Assessing Anies Baswedan’s Flood Control Efforts, courtesy of TEMPO
Penyebab Banjir Jakarta dari Berbagai Versi, Mulai Presiden Jokowi, Anies Baswedan, hingga Para Ahli — Differing Opinions on What Caused the Flood, courtesy of Tribun News