Indonesia has plans to move capital from sinking Jakarta to Borneo

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By Richard Good
Indonesia has plans to move capital from sinking Jakarta to Borneo

Indonesia's president has announced plans to move the country’s capital to the island of Borneo.

The move comes because the current capital Jakarta is sinking - with some 40% of its 10 million population now living below sea level.

It also suffers from pollution and overcrowding.

President Joko Widodo told the Indonesian parliament the country’s international image is at stake.

"A capital city is not just a symbol of national identity,” he said. “But also a marker of the nation’s progress. This is for economic equality and justice. This is the vision of an advanced Indonesia."

In Jakarta, on the island of Java, sea walls are being built but the protection they offer is limited.

"It's better now because of the sea wall,” says one resident. “It's helpful. When floods come in the morning, they subside in the evening. But the next morning, it's flooded again."

"Today I'm not so nervous about the flooding,” says another. “In the past, when the floods came I used to tremble. I nearly drowned back in 2007, all my belongings were swept away and I had to start over again."

The Indonesian government wants to start moving its capital by 2024. Developers are being offered rental income in return for investing in the project.