The World’s DIRTIEST River

Twisting and turning through the jungles of
Java is a river so polluted it’ll make your skin melt. On this episode we bring you the
world’s dirtiest river. Located east of Jakarta, being the 3rd biggest
river on the island of Java, the Citarum river has claimed the top spot as earth’s most
polluted. Covering an area of 5,000 sq miles or 13,000 sq kms the water from the Citarum
river is relied upon by 30 million residents. 5% of the river’s water is needed for 2000
industrial factories and irrigation for rice farms. 80% of the surface water is used by
the citizens of the nearby capital city Jakarta. Despite needing this natural resource, the
river is so dirty on some parts you can’t even see the water just garbage. Among the
trash are decomposing animals which further increase the health risks of this river. Now
how did things get so bad for the Citarum river? Bandung Regency an area in west Java went
through rapid industrialization in the 1980s creating what it is today, the epicenter of
textile production in the region. The textile sector has devastating effects on the environment
with the water quality being at the top of the list. With Bandung Regency being one of
the top 10 textile and clothing producers on the planet with 12.7 billion in exports
and employing 3 million workers among different corporations only stringent standards and
regulations would keep the river clean. Extreme lack of policy has resulted in only 264 chemicals
being regulated out of over 100,000 used in the textile industry. Corrupt regulations
inspectors, illegal dumping, and limited regulation of discharged wastewater has destroyed what
was once a pristine river. Having no fear of punishment factories built along the river
have had no need to innovate the design of their facilities with green technologies. With over 200 textile factories on the river
banks of the Citarum river, 20,000 tons of waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater are dumped
daily. The toxic chemicals dumped into the Citarum have actually changed the color of
the river in some parts. It has become contaminated with lead, aluminum, iron and manganese. Many
who live and work around the river suffer from skin diseases, rashes, infections, scabs,
respiratory problems not to mention all the problems down the road from crops grown with
water from the river. The Citarum river has shown dangerous levels of alkalinity in wastewater
upwards of ph levels of 14 which is able to burn through human skin making it almost like
acid. It is said by locals that even a simple splash of water on the face will cause it
to burn and itch for a week. Lead contamination has been tested at extreme levels, over 25,000
times higher than recommended which is present in water used by over ½ a million people.
Not only affecting humanity, high levels of nonylphenol has been detected which is toxic
to marine life. The contamination is wiping out all the fish leaving fisherman starving
without income or food. The past 5 years has seen a shift for all fisherman switching to
new careers as there are no fish left in the river. Some become garbage pickers trying
to find valuables among the trash. The industrial chemicals and waste has affected
2300 acres of rice fields contaminating them with heavy metals and losing over 866 million
dollars of food production over the past 2 decades. In defiance some residents, who’ve
lost hope in the government, find factory drain pipes and plug them in an effort to
flood the factory shutting down production and causing damage. Recently President Joko
declared a seven year Citarum cleansing program to make the Citarum drinkable again by 2025.
500 million dollars has been put forward in this initiative. Along with cleaning 22 sections
of the 186 mile or 300 km long river, mass amounts of reforestation will take place.
125 million trees will be planted in a effort to help reduce the flooding that happens caused
by clogs of garbage. The idea is once the river is clean, less money will have to be
spent on flood recovery, the farms will be much more productive generating 280 million
annually and draw in tourism to riverside resorts and property. By removing the garbage
maintenance on the three hydroelectric power stations will be reduced as well. While it seems the government has started
to wake up to the serious problem at hand it’ll take more than the average river cleanup
to get the Citarum back to its former glory. It’s also worth noting in my research I
learned while difficult to know what quality of facility your clothing is produced in when
buying a new pair of pants or shirt many of the toxic chemicals used in clothing production
stays on the clothes after they are completed and will only be removed after a handful of
washes through the washing machine. Are you shocked by how polluted the Citarum
river got before anything was done or is this something sadly we see all too often throughout
the world? Share your thoughts down below. I hope you found episode interesting, consider
subscribing and until the next one have a good one.

91 thoughts on “The World’s DIRTIEST River

  1. What happened US/Europe out sourcing…smh smh. Its where ppl disappear to as well…

  2. Terrifying indeed now how do they use or drink that it's kinda like the Mississippi river here super dirty but goes through a whole ton of states.

  3. Horrible, horrifying, terrifying, terrible, sad, unfortunate, horrendous and crazy. Also Titan I have a request that I would be happy for you to accept. You should do a video about a dump in the Cayman Islands (my home country) called Mount Trashmore. It's huge and absolutely horrendous.

  4. It's not called Mother Nature anymore.. It is called Horror Nature..
    This is the world that we live in and it's very sad..
    Thank you for sharing..?

  5. It’s so arrogant for factories to dump their trash and chemicals into rivers, it’s like they don’t realize that we one have one earth.

  6. Unbelievable!! But as a sailor, who has sailed thousands of offshore miles, i've seen out in the middle of nowhere, between Mexico to the east and Polynesia to the south, there was about 1 sq kilometer of plastic that was 2 meters deep!! Un-real after three weeks of blue-water, and to come up on that!! And this was 40 years ago!! I'd be surprised if it wasn't worse today!!!

  7. Wow… Thanks for bringing this to light! You'd think this would be somewhere on the msm?

    Imagine the bugs and mosquitoes growing in this water… The rice grown with this water… Terrifying!!!

  8. makes me laugh how the reports always focus on the factories. the people using the river as a garbage dumb/toilet/burial ground is the #1 issue and causes most of the sickness.

  9. Soon a Mutant with Toxic and Poison Power will be born in Bandung Near Citarum River!!! 😀

  10. indonesia indeed is the most dirtiest country alongside india. the dutch called them indonesia means "the eastern india" is really on the spot. and mind you, that is jakarta, the capital city. most of the villagers still eat, poo and bath in the same river.

  11. What is wrong with India? I just don’t get it.. the government isn’t do anything.. the people aren’t doing any thing.. AND THEY SHOULD BE! THEY ARE KILLING NATURE,

  12. 95 percent of all plastics in our seas came from 3rd world countries and I'm Dominican


  14. @Titan Top List:  Actually, I'm not shocked at "how polluted this river has become."  Back in the sixties, we (in the US) had a river in (Ohio?) that caught on fire, from the flammable industrial chemicals dumped into it.

  15. Good luck.
    Do your best. Fitchburg Ma has the Nashua.
    It once was so polluted fish died when they hit the river from streams the colors were Bright
    The smell burned the nostrils and made you sick.
    Now some fish live there.
    Factory need to stop, you people living there, stop throwing trash in the river
    Good luck

  16. Stupid people should not breed and yet here we are… Ignorance is no excuse.

  17. money money money , it's all they love those corperations , they don't care bout u or respect any enviremont

  18. governments should be fined and held accountable for this

  19. Does anyone know when this documentary was made? And if anything has been done to improve it since? Thanks

  20. It's also our responsibility to not buy cheap clothing from far far away. We have a ton of options to buy eco friendly clothing. Or buy clothing from the second hand store nearby. I will never ever buy any clothing from asian countries again. That's the only way these companies will wake up.

  21. Indonesia should be penalize by the United nations. The textile companies should all be closed immediately. The river should immediately cleaned.

  22. Maybe Pasig River in the Philippines is close second on the list.

  23. Because they want to be Top "1" on everything. Their Government is just relying on foreign aid, so they wont spent their own funds and siphoned it to their secret bank accounts. At Least India, although polluted you will see their people is really poor and con-densely populated, it's no wonder their rivers will be polluted.

  24. I'm indonesian.. Thank you for making this report. our government and our community are in an effort to clean the citarum. Please check #citarumharum

  25. Its because no education …also their average IQ is retarded..even animals are not making dirty the place they live…they go for Toilet far away…

  26. If a homeless from America recycle the plastic he come back a millionaire lmao

  27. Yes. It's VERY Dirty,Most of this is Our Fault. We do that. I,MYSELF do that

    But if westerm countries stop Importing trash to us. Maybe it's a little bit better

  28. This is not an inevitable end result of modern human life. It is a result of lazy, irresponsible, corrupt government and public attitudes toward their own local environment. We do NOT have rivers like this in the UK, we do not have rivers like this in the whole of europe so it just goes to show that this does NOT have to be the way it is. That makes it worse in my eyes, get a grip people. This is a dissgrace to you, your government and your country!

  29. Made me sick and disgusted to see just what a mess humans can and continue to make throughout this planet. V glad to see this video as an eyeopener that we all have a choice to either contribute more to the problem or be part of the solution.

  30. I'm happy its not my country ( Philippines ) but im sad indonesia is our neighbor country :'(

  31. this makes me want to impale those corporate scums
    Rise up from the colonialism of the 21st century!

  32. I just downloaded this for info reference in a memorial vid to this issue, just a few clips, is that ok with you??

  33. The Earth weeps. All we do is take and take from her, our mother.


  35. When we forget that we are part of nature. A human being is his own enemy.

  36. less people … less polution … nature can only support a small limit of parasites ….

  37. This is why the west was deindustrialized just so companies don't have to pay the taxes necessary to keep the rivers clean nor the wages needed to provide people with enough to eat and adequate housing. Saying we don't want the jobs is bull shit you remember people fighting companies and governments that started closing them down in the 70s and 80s people wanted the jobs they just refused to live like this so that a few elitist could maximise profits. I retrained and have work but there is no industry it is all in the developing world because they are the only ones who allow themselves to live in these conditions I have empathy for them but I am angry about what was done to us and what is being done to them it isn't right.

  38. This is already a problem for decades. The government exempt small and medium businesses from stringent waste water management regulation. It gave incentive for companies to stay small and polute more in the name of favoring small people.

    Most big corporation adhere to regulation because its easier and less expensive to manage their waste water.

    As far as littering concerned, we can only blame ourself for dumping house trash to the river just because we don't wanna pay 2 bucks a month. Living in west java for more than ten years in several places up close to the river source led me to conclude that cause we can observe visibly house trash as far as several km from the spring. No wonder it clogs up down there at the end point.

  39. This is something that Greta should be complaining about ! Cleaning up these rivers !

  40. Greta is raising Hell about something that can’t be Changed ! The weather is up to GOD not man ! And GOD promised man he would never flood the Earth Again ! And any Christian That Believe In Climate Change Where The Earth is Going To Be Flooded is Calling GOD a Lair ! I doubt very seriously That Greta’s Parents Are Christians Or even Believe In GOD ! In Genesis Chapter 9 ; Verse : 11 And I will establish my covenant with you ; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more By the water of a flood ; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the Earth !

  41. If Greta Really cares about Pollution She Should Cry Out about Things That Something Can Be done About , instead of being a Useless Socialist Tool For The Socialist Democrat Party And The Mainstream Media And The Globalist ! Wake up Greta and Help Peoples That Can Be Helped !

  42. Philippines now is better than indonesia, sorry to tell about it guys, now the government efforts in the capital city manila to be a green city…

  43. Maybe if we all didn’t ignore this crises and fight for nature things might be a bit better

  44. as indonesians.. im very sorry for dirty thing in the video. actually, we already cleaned the river 7 months ago, it takes 7k troops and much voluunter.. , once again im very sorry..

  45. When industry leaves America and other countries that have environmental laws to much lower paying countries, this is part of what happens. Either accept it, or pay more for US made products.

  46. It is not the people making , forcing the use onto others AND DUMPING IT BY toNS IN THE NATURE!! This has NOTHING to do with "NO MORE PLASTIC STRAWS"

  47. PLEASE send this to justin TRUDEAU,
    Or KATHERYN McKenna
    Let them know WHO is POLLUTING the planet!
    AND WHO should pay!

  48. The banner at 1:40 means " Don't pollute Surabaya river with garbages. Because water is the source of life. Btw the Jakarta's government cleaned the river.

  49. And then people just go and leave that place and go ahead to make another place as dirty as their former place and government rather than penalizing and implying rules just fill their illegal corrupted pockets

  50. All the clothes I buy for myself, are 2nd hand. The rub is I have a beautiful daughter, and a glorious granddaughter. That I want the best for. This video is breaking my heart ???

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