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Jakarta Post

Kalla, ministers, Anies munch bananas beside ‘Black River’

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 3, 2018   /   04:47 pm
Kalla, ministers, Anies munch bananas beside ‘Black River’ Vice President Jusuf Kalla (left), Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan (thrid left), Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono (fourth left) and Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi (second right) eat bananas on Aug. 3 near the banks of the Sentiong River at the athletes village in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta. (Via Wapres)

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, along with several ministers and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan as well as 2018 Asian Games committee members, visited the athletes village on Friday in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, which included a stop by the Sentiong River that flows in front of the village.

Kalla, Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono and Anies were seen conversing while munching on bananas beside the river, which has been dubbed kali item or "black river" for its severely polluted waters.

Kalla said that the river did not smell anymore.

“Is it smelly? It’s not smelly anymore, right? There is only the smell of the bananas, so it is clear [that the river] does not smell anymore,” Kalla said as quoted by

The Sentiong River was a major challenge for Jakarta as it prepared to host the 2018 Asiad, as its polluted waters emitted a foul stench into the air around the athletes village.

The city administration has spent Rp 580 million (US$39,953) in installing a 689-meter length of black nylon netting to reduce the smell from the river. It has also used aerators and nano bubble technology in its effort to clear pollutants from the river.

In an earlier effort, the public works ministry's Ciliwung-Cisadane Flood Control Office (BBWSCC) had provided portable pumps to try and divert the Sentiong into the Sunter River in hopes of reducing the smell. (gis)