Indonesia Denies Report That Jakarta Tops Worst Air Pollution List

Tak Berkategori321 Dilihat, Jakarta – The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) denied reports that Jakarta has the world’s worst air pollution. The Ministry’s Director General for Pollution Control and Environmental Damage, Sigit Reliantoro, argued that data comparisons were needed to assess the air quality index in the capital.

“The framing [of Jakarta] as the dirtiest, most polluted city in the world needs to be corrected. We haven’t looked at other sources of information yet,” Sigit said in a press conference at the KLHK Ministry Office in Central Jakarta, on Sunday, August 13, 2023.

He referred to the air quality website which reported Jakarta’s pollution level at 160. This figure was lower than Yangon in Myanmar at 211, Copenhagen in Denmark at 500, and Alaska at 200.

Based on the ministry’s data from 2018 to 2023, he said Jakarta had good air quality during the pandemic and pre-pandemic periods. However, he did not deny that there had been an increase in pollution in recent months. 

This is because the measurement of the air quality in urban areas of Indonesia, especially Jakarta, is performed between high-rise buildings, where there is no wind circulation. “This causes the pollution to multiply,” Sigit said.

This is added to motorized vehicles, causing pollution to stay, and the concentration to jump even ten times from the existing condition. This is what he called the street canyon phenomenon.

According to him, the phenomenon also occurred in other big cities, such as Bandung. Due to its valley shape, the air pollution was trapped and could only be washed away by rain or wind.

As of 06:14 Jakarta time on Sunday, August 13, the IQAir website recorded Jakarta’s air quality as the worst in the world with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 170 or in the unhealthy category. The concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 was 93.2 micrograms per cubic meter or 18.6 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual air quality guideline value.

The other most polluted cities in the world after Jakarta were Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AQI: 157), Johannesburg, South Africa (AQI:156), Hanoi, Vietnam (AQI: 151), and Doha, Qatar (AQI: 140).


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