Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Life along the world's most polluted river

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/life-along-worlds-most-polluted-slideshow-wp-192228755.html

Despite the fact that the Citarum River has been named the world’s most polluted river by the World Bank, around 28 million people in Indonesia depend on it for irrigation and electricity — as well as nearly 80 percent of the capital city’s water supply.

Based on reports, more than 20,000 tons of waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater are disposed of directly into the waterways of the third-biggest river in Java every day from thousands of textile factories, killing nearly 60 percent of the river’s fish species and causing health problems for people who live along the banks of the polluted river.

In recent years, the Indonesian government has vowed to clean the Citarum River as studies from environmental groups had found that levels of lead in the river reached 1,000 times the U.S. standard for drinking water, but the problem has persisted due to the lack of coordination, maintenance and enforcement. (Getty Images)

Photography by Ed Wray/Getty Images

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Factory waste, including dyes from the many textile factories in the region, stain a jackfruit and discarded cloth on a tributary of the Citarum river on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A farmer walks in his rice paddy, which sits along a heavily polluted tributary of the Citarum river, on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A man climbs the steep banks of the Citarum river with man a bag full of plastic trash he scavenged from the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Factory waste, including dyes from the many textile factories in the region, drain into a tributary of the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A 20-year accumulation of plastic trash fished out of the Citarum River sits at a dump site being monitored by the Indonesian army on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Water dirtied by factory waste plunges through a natural rock formation cluttered with some of the thousands of tons of plastic waste dumped into the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Plastic waste clogs a canal that drains in to a tributary of the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, in small village outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A man separates different kinds of plastic, which he will later sell, recycled from the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia.(Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A dead fish sits on plastic trash along the banks of the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018 outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Children walk through a rice paddy overlooking the dozens of textile mills which have been using the Citarum River to dump their wastewater on Aug. 28, 2018 outside Majalaya, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Factory waste drains into a tributary of the Citarum river on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Factory waste is dumped into a tributary of the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Majalaya, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Ruslan, a brick maker who fishes to supplement his income in the heavily polluted Citarum River, shows a fish he has caught there on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A boy collecting plastic waste to sell navigates water made black by industrial pollution on the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018 outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Murky water from a canal merges with water made black by industrial pollution on the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A man separates different kinds of plastic, which he will later sell, recycled from the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Plastic trash lies by the side of a small stream that drains into the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Majalaya, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Water dirtied by factory waste plunges through a natural rock formation cluttered with some of the thousands of tons of plastic waste dumped into the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A man paddles his boat along the heavily polluted Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A fisherman hopes to get some catfish from the Citarum River on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A piece of cloth washed up on the shore is just one piece of the thousands of tons of trash dumped into the the Citarum River and seen on Aug. 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A man fixes a boat he uses to scavenge some of the tons of plastic waste dumped into the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Factory waste drains into a tributary of the Citarum River on Aug, 27, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


Drainage hoses leading from a factory for dumping industrial waste into the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)


A thick black toxic stew bubbles up from the depths of the Citarum River on Aug. 28, 2018, outside Bandung, Java, Indonesia. (Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images)