The Citarum River in ancient times was very different from today. Maybe people who just saw it now would not think that the river was once famous for its beauty and water clarity. Unfortunately, this legendary river has now changed its condition. It has lost its heyday and becoming one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
The Citarum River is the longest and largest river in West Java, Indonesia, and is the third longest river in Java, after the Bengawan Solo and Brantas rivers. The water that flows in the river was once used as a source of livelihood for the surrounding community.
Residents around the Citarum River make the river as a provider of fish to eat, agricultural irrigation sources, and fresh water to drink. Washing and cooking activities are also commonly done by millions of people living along this river bank.
However, over time, activities in the river without any maintenance that make the river condition is now very apprehensive. The river water is no longer only used to provide drinking water but also supplies water for hydropower and the needs of the textile industry that makes clothing for some of the world’s largest fashion bricks, such as H & M, Gap, and Uniqlo.
So many benefits are given by this river, but humans respond with no affection. In addition to being a water supplier, the river is also used as an open sewer for factories to dispose of toxic chemicals and thousands of rubbish at once. This is what creates an ecological disaster on the Citarum River to erode its clarity and beauty.
Currently almost along the river flow is filled with garbage and industrial waste. Hundreds of tons of waste are dumped into this river every day. So do not be surprised if the title of the river now is the most polluted river in the world.
No more fish can be caught in this river. If fishing in this river, instead of getting fish, you will get a plastic bottle. The water is so polluted that the fish can no longer make it a place to live. Based on the recognition of a citizen, every day there are more than 50 kg of plastic. Not to mention the factory waste that is dumped into the river also makes the river water sometimes black or red, no longer as clear as before.
The most polluted river degree for the Citarum River was pinned by Gary and his sister who are French citizens. Previously the two brothers uploaded a video about the largest river in West Java to become viral.
The video was uploaded in August 2017. In his video, Gary and his sister showed the river wading activity using plastic bottles brought from Bali, where they were raised. This is done to attract children and residents who live around to see the state of the river closer.
Furthermore, the video was made to show the world how sad the state of the historic river is when many people who still live by the river and use water for household activities. Gary who is the founder of Make a Change World intends to make a stunning visualization of all the debris that flows from the river to the ocean and build awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution for the environment.
Luckily this problem immediately responded by the government. Previously there had been efforts to clean up the river, but after Gary’s viral video makes the government more actively accelerate the process of revitalizing the river.
The program would also get a good response and welcome hand out from all the people of Indonesia. Without awareness of dumping the garbage in its place, how often is it cleaned up, garbage will always be around? For that, let’s begin to take care of the Citarum River environment again.