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Jakarta Post

Dry season turns Ciliwung River black and smelly

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 27, 2019   /   03:10 pm
Dry season turns Ciliwung River black and smelly Rows of illegal settlements stand along the Ciliwung riverbank in Manggarai, South Jakarta. (The Jakarta Post/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Residents of Jatipulo subdistrict in Palmerah, West Jakarta have complained about the putrid smell and the blackish color of the Ciliwung River in the area.

“The stench today was particularly bad because of the waste that had clogged the flow of the river,” local resident Sumiarti said as reported by Antara news agency on Friday.

The pungent aroma from the river usually intensifies when the volume of water depletes during the dry season.

“At the moment, the smell isn’t that bad. The aroma gets more severe during long droughts,” she added.

As Jakarta’s longest and most extensive river, the Ciliwung is filled with plastic and liquid waste that has been thrown into the pitch-black river.

The putrid stench can be smelled dozens of meters away from the riverbank.

Another resident, Warmin, said the unpleasant aroma usually decreased when it rained, as the water volume increased.

“During the dry season, the river smells rancid and is filled with trash. However, it’s more bearable when it rains,” said Warmin.

Besides the unpleasant and foul smell, coming into contact with the river’s water also causes the skin to itch.

“I often swim in the river when the water is brownish. However, when it’s pitch-black as it is now, I avoid swimming in it as it causes my skin to itch,” said 12-year-old resident Aldo. (bry)