Jakarta's main streets are landscaped, manicured, and modern. Off these streets, however, the environment is that of an overgrown village. Compared to other Asian cities, Jakarta's drinking water, sewerage treatment, solid waste disposal, and general environment are seriously deficient. This case study briefly outlines the deficiencies. Less than one-fourth the residents have piped water. Almost no one is attached to a sewer. One-third of the city's solid waste never reaches the landfill. The source of the problems is historical -- for a long time, the problems of this rapidly growing city were not adequately addressed. And the problem has become worse in recent years by the policymakers' concern with providing first-class service to all, despite the fact that budgetary shortcomings prevent them from extending such service beyond the richest households. As a result, the poor often receive no public services and must resort to expensive private provision or do without. The principal lesson from and for Jakarta is that policymakers must give more attention to providing less-than-first-class but affordable services to the poor.


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