Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is located on the northwest coast of the island of Java. Around 10 million people live in this city, making it the largest city in Southeast Asia. Jakarta offers many business opportunities, and has a higher standard of living than the rest of Indonesia, thus attracting many migrants.
However, the city is struggling with the illegal use of groundwater and is slowly sinking year after year. In addition, about 65,000 people in Jakarta are suffering from HIV/AIDS. Children are particularly affected by the difficult living conditions resulting from the lowering of the groundwater level as well as the infection with HIV/AIDS.
Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Jakarta.
HIV/AIDS is still a major issue in Indonesia. An approximate 540,000 people live with HIV in the country, and more specifically 19,000 children. Specifically in Jakarta, 65,000 people live with HIV. 3000 people die annually due to AIDS, which is 10% of all AIDS-related deaths in Indonesia.
The country’s national strategy aims to end AIDS by 2030. Not only do people suffer from the illness, they can also suffer from social stigma and discrimination. Especially children, having lost one or two parents due to AIDS, can be confronted with stigmatization, need to fend for themselves, grow up alone or care for siblings.
Jakarta is one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If nothing changes, the city could be submerged by 2050. Not only is the city built on swampy land, it is also located next to the sea and thirteen rivers run through it. Every year, the city is, on average, sinking 1-15 centimeters. The main cause is that 60% of Jakarta’s population uses groundwater, often illegally, which makes the land around it sink and creates floods.
One of the solutions is that a new capital has been chosen, Nusantara, 2,000 kilometers north of Jakarta. This will hopefully reduce the burden on Jakarta.
Nonetheless, children are very vulnerable for the constant threat of flooding and sinking in the capital.