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Former Indonesian tropical paradise reduced to garbage dump

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/11/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Waste, toxic chemicals dumped by textile plant renders Citarum the most polluted river in the world

As people in China's most air polluted cities cheerfully don face masks, a fisherman on Indonesia's Citarum River has blankly accepted his polluted fate. Once searching for fish, Herman, the name of the fisherman proffered to news reporters says he now looks for plastic discarded in the river to recycle. The onetime tropical paradise is now little more than a landfill.

The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/11/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Citarum River, Indonesia, pollution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reported to be the dirtiest river in the world, the Citarum is full of trash, debris and toxic waste. A nearby textile mill is the chief culprit.

Once a tropical paradise, the Citarum in Java, Indonesia, is now said to be the dirtiest river in th

Once a tropical paradise, the Citarum in Java, Indonesia, is now said to be the dirtiest river in the world.


"I don't catch fish anymore," Herman tells reporters. "They're floating on the surface . I'm sure everyone knows the result of dumping rubbish like this. There are rules, but nobody is enforcing them"

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Clogged with household waste, toxic chemicals dumped by textile factories and dead animals, the rive

Clogged with household waste, toxic chemicals dumped by textile factories and dead animals, the river has lost 60 percent of its fish stocks.


The Citarum has lost 60 percent of its fish stocks, in spite of this, more than 35 million people still rely on the river for drinking and washing.

"

"'I don't catch fish any more... they're floating on the surface... I'm sure everyone knows the result of dumping rubbish like this. There are rules, but nobody is enforcing them."


The people here say that textile factories illegally dump chemicals into the river at night. Some nearby village wells contain four times the recommended safe levels of mercury.

Locals say textile factories illegally dump chemicals into the river at night and some nearby villag

Locals say textile factories illegally dump chemicals into the river at night and some nearby village wells contain four times the recommended safe levels of mercury. Pictured front is Herman's 13-year-old son, Alex; at the back is TV reporter Seyi Rhodes.


The water at times turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes. It has been linked with increased cancer rates, as well as skin diseases, mental illness and slow development among local children.

At times, the water turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes. It

At times, the water turns red, green, yellow and black because of the high concentration of dyes. It has been linked with increased cancer rates, as well as skin diseases, mental illness and slow development among local children.


There are claims that major clothing chains could be partly to blame for the torrent of pollution. A Greenpeace report last year claimed one of the largest textile manufacturers on the Citarum, PT Gistex Group - has had a "business relationship" with Gap, H&M and Adidas.

There are claims some high street brands could be partly to blame for the torrent of pollution.

There are claims some high street brands could be partly to blame for the torrent of pollution.


The charity found the manufacturer's wastewater contained high doses of several toxic substances.

TV presenter Seyi and community group members block a factory waste water pipe.

TV presenter Seyi and community group members block a factory waste water pipe.

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