World’s Most Polluted River (7 pictures)
It was once a gently flowing river, where fishermen cast their nets, sea birds came to feed and natural beauty left visitors spellbound. Today, Citarum River, Indonesia, has been called the world’s most polluted river. Around 5 million people live in the river’s basin, and most of them rely on its flow for their water supply.
Citarum River has an important role in the life of the people of West Java, as it is used to support agriculture, water supply, fishery, industry, sewerage, electricity etc. There are three hydroelectric powerplant dams installed along this river; Saguling, Cirata, and Ir. H. Djuanda (Jatiluhur) hydroelectric powerplants, all supplying the electricity for Bandung and Greater Jakarta area.
More than 500 factories, many of them producing textiles which require chemical treatment, line the banks of the 200-mile river, the largest waterway in West Java, spewing waste into the water. There is no such luxury as a rubbish collection service here or any modern toilet facilities. Everything goes into the river.
Most terrifying thiong is the filthy water is sucked into the rice paddies, while families risk their health by collecting it for drinking, cooking and washing.