In ten years, between 2000 and 2010, the city’s population grew by seven million people or as many inhabitants as the city of Kuala Lumpur. The end of the growth probably not in sight, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and its Gross Domestic Product is forecast to continue to grow at around 5% per year.
More than five million people in Greater Jakarta are estimated to live in slums or poor kampongs as they are called locally. The new arrivals are mostly poor. As land and housing is scarce, many people illegally built their ramshackle houses on government land, often near a river or rubbish dump. People are reluctant to invest in their homes because of the constant threat of eviction. Only 35% of Jakarta’s homes had access to potable water, and 32% of homes had a per capita living space of less than seven square meters per capita according to data from the Central Statistics Agency in 2009.