Walhi : Pollution in Citarum River Reach Alarming State

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  • TEMPO.CO, Banung - Dadan Ramdhan, director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), said that almost 80 percent of factories in West Java violate regulations on liquid waste treatments.

    Dadan revealed that hundreds of factories located along Citarum River are dumping waste into the river and causing an alarming state of pollution.

    "Regulations and laws governing hazardous waste exist, but their enforcement is weak. Almost 80 percent of factories in West Java violate regulations," Dadan told Tempo on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

    According to Dadan, every factory must have a waste water treatment plant (IPAL) to reduce hazardous waste level before being dumped. However, a number of factories have not utilized the waste water treatment facilities properly. Some of the factories, Dadan added, do not have standardized water treatment facilities.

    "In addition to the issues with the IPAL, there are issues with regulations on the water quality standard. Although the level of the waste has been reduced by the IPAL, waste is still waste. Factories are dumping waste to the river," Dadan said.

    As a result, the condition of Citarum River is deteriorating. In several areas in 12 cities and regencies, the water occasionally displays abnormal color and release unpleasant odor. In several locations, rice fields that depend on water from Citarum River often fail to grow crops.

    "Due to weak supervisions, we must encourage people living near factories to report any violations committed by factories," Dadan suggested.

    Non-profit organization Blacksmith Institute, which is based in New York, and Swiss-based organization Green Cross released the list of most polluted rivers on earth back in 2013. Citarum River is on the list due to industry and chemical waste pollutions. Blacksmith Institute reported that more than 500,000 people were directly affected by pollutions in Citarum River, and over 5 million people were indirectly affected by chemical pollutants dumped into the river.