The dying rivers of ASEAN

Asean Post –

With the Asian Games fast approaching, scheduled to be held from 18 August to 2 September 2018, officials in the Indonesian capital where the games are going to be hosted are scrambling in an all-out effort to prepare the host cities. Sporting venues in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta, Palembang, Bandung, Bogor, Bekasi and Subang are receiving their final touches, concrete river banks are being painted, building works are nearing completion and traffic congestion is being addressed. But for one of Jakarta’s biggest problems, the foul-smelling Sentiong river flowing near the Asian Games athletes’ village in Kemayoran, officials are resorting to black nylon mesh.

About 730 metres of the river, also known to locals as Kali Item or Black River, is being covered with black nylon mesh as there is no immediate solution to the pollution in sight. With the pan-Asian sporting event looming, the black mesh is expected to camouflage the filthy river, as well as reduce the foul smell emanating from the evaporating river water. While the controversial band-aid solution is being mocked by many, for some of the people living near the river, the improvement is unmistakeable.

River pollution in Indonesia is not uncommon. Indonesia is home to one of the world’s most polluted tributaries, the Citarum River. 

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