The dirtiest river in the world: Indonesia’s Citarum | DW Documentary

The dirtiest river in the world: Indonesia's Citarum | DW Documentary

The Citarum river in West Java is considered the dirtiest river in the world. Textile factories discharge tons of untreated toxic waste into the river every day. Local residents also treat the river as a dumping ground, using the waters to dispose of excrement and household waste.

In spite of how dirty the river is, at least 30 million people across West Java rely on the Citarum to irrigate the farmland that feeds them. Now, as part of the “Citarum Harum” project, the Indonesian government is trying to clean the river up.

This documentary follows the Indonesian military as it implements a multi-million dollar effort aimed at returning the 270-kilometer stretch of river to a more pristine state. The film interviews factory owners who are investing in the future of sustainable waste management, and environmental activists who are fighting the illegal dumping of industrial chemicals.

The ramifications of the project are far-reaching: The WHO estimates that in 30 years 50% of the world’s population will be forced to live in water-scarce regions. Climate change is further accelerating the water crisis, which will inevitably trigger conflicts in the affected regions.

#documentary #dwdocumentary #pollution #Citarum

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