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Jakarta Post

Our beloved rivers of waste

  • Alexandra Hansen

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Tue, February 9 2010   /  11:40 am

Home by the river: Residents perform various house chores in their homes located along the Ciliwung River in Jakarta. Millions of people rely on the river for their daily water needs. JP/Ricky YudhistiraStanding on the bank on one of Jakarta’s many rivers, the experience is much the same across the board. Nothing you would hope for in a river is present in the city’s 13 main canals.

Clear water, the peaceful babble, trees and native flora lining the bed, native wildlife in and around the water and children paddling amongst the leaves have all been replaced by rubbish, disease-causing bacteria and pollution.

Standing on the edge of any of Jakarta’s canals is saddening; what once would have been a beautiful and serene place, is now a bed of pollution and the cause of illnesses such as typhoid, dysentery, cholera, E.coli-poisoning and amoebiasis. 

So what ...