If you were to walk by a river and saw trash floating down it, you’d probably be disgusted. Pollution is a terrible, passive attack on the world around us. If it bothers you, though, then we suggest staying out of Indonesia. There is a body of water called the Citarum river in Indonesia that would make you gag on sight. It is so polluted and filled with trash, you can’t even see the water. I’m not joking.
Nearly 5 million people live at the basin of the river, but their activity is just a fraction of the reason why the river is so clogged with trash.
Nearby textile factories are heavy contributors of toxic waste to the water.
More than 2,000 industries contaminate 5,020 sq miles of the river with lead, mercury, arsenic and other toxins.
This disgusting river supports local agriculture, water supply, fishery, industry, sewerage, electricity and more.
The extremely dirty river flows downstream into rice paddies where families dangerously use it to clean, cook, wash and drink.
It is known as the most polluted river in the world, and we can see why.
But even on an individual level, humans constantly pollute the river with their trash and waste.
It’s hard to imagine what kind of bacteria and viruses are breeding within the dirty waters of the Citarum river. But, for the local people in Indonesia, it’s one of the water supplies they must rely on to stay alive. In December of 2008, the Asian Development Bank approved a $500 million loan for cleaning up the river. To this day, it’s still considered one of the world’s most polluted. I’ve never felt so happy to have clean drinking water.