Episode 84: Jakarta Underwater: Discussing the January 2020 Flooding


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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.

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