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Jakarta Post

Citarum River rehabilitation disrupted by COVID-19

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil


Jakarta   /   Mon, August 10 2020   /  01:00 am
Empty bottles: Two boys salvage plastic bottles from the polluted Citarum River in Bojongsoang, Bandung regency on Feb. 19. The World Bank declared the Citarum River was the most polluted river in the world a decade ago, a description widely picked up by media and environmentalists. (AFP/Timur Matahari )

Projects to rehabilitate the Citarum River in West Java, the country’s dirtiest river, continue despite disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Stretching 270 kilometers, the Citarum supplies water to households and industries in West Java and Jakarta. It is also the source of power for three hydroelectric plants that can generate a combined 1,400 megawatts of electricity. Despite being crucial to at least 27 million people in the two provinces, the Citarum earned the status of being the most polluted river in the country for its alarming levels of toxic chemicals due to industrial and household waste being dumped into it for a long time. Responding to the ever growing pollution of the river, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo established a restoration campaign called the Citarum Harum in 2018. The campaign, led by the West Java governor, involves the ...