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Jakarta Post

Jakarta gasps for air: 2019 marks history in fight against severe air pollution

  • Vela Andapita
    Vela Andapita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, December 16, 2019   /  10:15 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Thick smog blankets the high rise buildings in Jakarta's business district around Jl. Sudirman on Oct. 9, 2019.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

For the longest time, the two main urban woes infamously attached to Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta have been severe traffic congestion and perennial floods, visible and affecting the everyday lives of many Jakartans. People can see lines of fossil-fueled vehicles clogging the roads and slowing down their mobility. Those living on the river banks have to endure the annual floods, which sometimes force them to stay at temporary shelters until the waters recede and afterward work hard to clean the mud in the aftermath of the floods. But a third woe plagues the city, one that threatens the blue skies of Jakarta and its satellite cities. The issue came to light prior to the 2018 Asian Games in August, of which Jakarta served as cohost along with Palembang, South Sumatra, when concerns were raised over the unhealthy level of air quality in the capital city. Foreign media o...