Sinking of North Jakarta 

The impact of sea level rising in Muara Baru, North Jakarta

A short interview with a local resident and life in Muara Baru, North Jakarta.

The rising sea level has affected the daily life of the people in Muara Baru, North Jakarta. Indonesia faces a predominant impact as it stands between the Indian and Pacific ocean. Currently, there are about 322,000 living around the area.

“When I was still young, floods caused by sea level rising happened on various occasions. In some areas, water can even go up to the neck or chest”, said Udin, a local resident who has been living in Muara Baru for about 40 years. 

“The first time I came here, there was a port and lots of activities. There was also a mosque that was often used by worshippers. Time went by and as the sea level rose, the location of the port moved and soon after, ships stopped docking and the mosque got abandoned. The government began building a sea wall to stop the flood and it never occurred again”, said Udin. 

Sea level rising has made a change to the life in Muara Baru and it will affect other areas located on the coastline.  

Impact of sea level rising on daily life

In Muara Baru, all the women sell snacks and Diah shared with Maritime Fairtrade about her life when it flooded. 

“When the sea level starts rising, it comes in a little at a time and in a span of 30 minutes, the area floods. Every time it happened, the first thing I did was to save my valuables and turn off my electricity to prevent a short circuit. I got tired doing a lot of things to ensure that everything was secure inside my house.” said Diah. 

She has lived in Muara Baru since she was a student in junior high school. “When the flood came, I could not work lest I risked losing my life. It was undeniable that my life was disrupted because of the natural phenomenon but since the seawall was built, flooding rarely happened.”

Sign of sinking in Jakarta

Apart from rising sea levels in Jakarta, land subsidence occurs every year and we need to draw our attention to it, said Udin.

“In spite of rising sea levels, flooding never occurred thanks to the seawall but, there is still a fear amongst us knowing that it happened before since we’re living on the coast. It’s never easy and this is my home for the longest time. Even when it sinks, I will still be here. I think Muara Baru and other areas have started sinking. The people here continue to live their life without realizing the consequence of their land disappearing.” said Udin. 

“We need a big moment to open the eyes of the people and make them realize that Jakarta is sinking. It won’t just impact the people living in North Jakarta.” 

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