Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Just click on the icons to get to the download page. The bench ruled in favor of the Environment and Forestry Ministry, which filed the lawsuit against the company for its lack of commitment in processing the hazardous and toxic waste B3 produced by its factory on Jl. Cibaligo in Cimahi, West Java. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the ministry reported the panel of judges, presided over by Firza Andriyansyah, ordered KKTI to pay compensation of Rp 4.
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Lax environmental regulations have allowed textile factories to dump toxic chemicals in the Citarum River. Growing up in the village of Majalaya, West Java, she was able to wash her clothes and bathe her younger sister in the water. But much has changed since her family moved here in The grey, plastic-strewn liquid that oozes past her community is now a drab reflection of her childhood memories.
For the past four decades, Indonesia's lax pollution controls have allowed industries to discharge toxic waste into the Citarum with near impunity. West Java's inadequate waste-disposal infrastructure has made the river the de facto dumpsite for its residents.
Huge volumes of rubbish float through its murky waters and accumulate in stinking piles along its banks. Poor sanitation means human waste flows into the river untreated, along with farm slurry and pesticides. Since the s more than textile factories have set up in and around Majalaya, earning it the moniker "Dollar City". Entin recalls the opening of the first dyeing factory, around the time she got married in , as the time when the river noticeably started to change.
When it turned white it smelt especially bad," she says. No one bathes in the river anymore, but Entin and her family must still use it to shower, clean their dishes and brush their teeth. They have no other option.
They are lucky that they can get drinking water from a neighbour's well. Fifteen million people remain directly reliant on the Citarum for drinking and bathing water. Sitting next to Entin, her granddaughter sporadically scratches her forearms.
Skin irritation is widespread in Majalaya, itching is experienced by most of those who use the water to wash, and many suffer chronic dermatitis. Respiratory problems are also very common. It's the same for my family. All of the people who live here have skin problems, from top to bottom … Now, if the water colour changes quickly, the itching gets worse.
I'm angry, but I don't know who to get angry at. We talk to the community leaders, and they went to the factories already, but they don't respond. The only thing that matters to them is to keep the business running, not the villagers' lives. Members of the Elingan Community Group, which represents the interests of Majalaya's residents, claim to have been threatened for speaking out. Elingan leader Deny Riswandani says he has received so many threats that he has been forced to move to another area and must constantly change his phone number.
As one of the most important economic interests in the country, textile manufacturers are powerful political players. In , textiles accounted for 8. An estimated 11 percent of the total industrial labour force - 1. The products of many multinational clothing brands are manufactured here, with 61 percent of garments being shipped to foreign markets. The impact of these hard economic facts on the government's attitude to regulation is difficult to determine.
What is certain, however, is how utterly regulation has failed. To date, the Citarum has not met Indonesian water quality standards since they were established in Meanwhile, the river supplies 80 percent of Jakarta's surface water and it irrigates five percent of the country's rice farms.
According to Ahmad, the government only regulates chemicals, out of the , that are used in the global textile industry - and to which 1, are added every year. This effectively allows companies to discharge thousands of hazardous chemicals without fear of prosecution.
Even if a factory is discharging one of the 45 industrial chemicals banned under Indonesian law, Ahmad says it is an open secret that inspectors can be paid to look the other way. Thus far, only 14 companies have ever received administrative or criminal sanctions for contamination of the Citarum. According to Greenpeace's report, tests carried out in May at the factory, located in Cimahi, 40km from Majalaya, found wastewater from one of the facility's outflow pipes to be pH14 - the highest possible level of alkalinity, capable of burning human flesh.
At the facility's main outflow pipe they detected nonylphenol, a well-known persistent environmental contaminant with hormone-disrupting properties, together with nonylphenol ethoxylates, tributyl phosphate and high levels of dissolved antimony. All of the substances are internationally known to be damaging to human health and animal and plant life, but none of them are regulated by the Indonesian government.
PT Gistex Group failed to respond to repeated requests for an interview or statement. On one occasion Gistex's receptionist claimed that their spokesperson was unable to talk because he was in intensive care with a stomach complaint. You've got these factories that are in many cases providing pollution. But at the same time they are employing hundreds of thousands of people who need a place to work.
Since the Citarum was identified as a "super-priority river" in , the river's water quality has continued to deteriorate. But in an interview, Thomas Panella, a principal water resources specialist at the ADB, struggled to explain why, four years since the announcement of the loan, no money had yet been channeled into improvement of water quality.
He stressed the need to look at the bigger picture and that water rehabilitation was only one aspect of rehabilitating the river. But at the same time they are employing hundreds of thousands of people who need a place to work," he explains. The office of Rasio Ridho Sani, deputy minister for hazardous waste, claimed the issue of waste management on the Citarum River fell outside of his responsibility and said to seek comment from M.
Karliansyah, Deputy Minister of Pollution Control. Karliansyah's office claimed the subject matter also fell outside of his remit and said to speak to Rasio Ridho Sani.
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Toggle navigation. Pollution flows freely in Indonesia's rivers Lax environmental regulations have allowed textile factories to dump toxic chemicals in the Citarum River. Today, the Citarum and its surroundings are a wasteland. Industry is using [the Citarum River] as a kind of testing ground for industrial chemicals. Environment Indonesia Niger Nigeria Ukraine. Have your say. Give us feedback. Sign up for our Newsletter. Ghana gas station blasts kill at least seven.
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The Citarum has been called the world's most polluted river. Around 5 million people live in the river's basin, and most of them rely on its flow for their water supply. Heavy pollution of river water by household and industrial waste in the Indonesian province of West Java is threatening the health of at least five million people living on the riverbanks, say government officials and water experts. Poor sanitation and hygiene cause 50, deaths annually in Indonesia, with untreated sewage resulting in over six million tons of human waste being released into inland water bodies, according to an ongoing study by the World Bank.
The Most Polluted River in the World, Citarum River, Indonesia
Now, the army has been called in to clean its black and putrid waters. Joe Wallen reports from Java. Pictures by Jack Taylor. W hen Enjang first experienced stomach pain a year ago he ignored it. The father of three, from the village of Ciherang in West Java, was instead focused on the upcoming rice harvest. But today he is bedridden with stage three colorectal cancer and doctors have put his chances of survival at just 30 per cent. Enjang is not the only one to be hit by the disease: his nephew died from it last year while a neighbour is receiving treatment at the same hospital.
The toxic waste that enters Indonesia’s Citarum River, one of the world's most polluted
It has an important role in the life of the people of West Java, as it supports agriculture, water supply, fishery, industry, sewerage, and electricity for 25 million people. It has been called one of the most polluted rivers in the world. In Indonesian history the Citarum is linked with the 4th-century Tarumanagara kingdom, as the kingdom and the river shared the same etymology, derived from the word "tarum" Sundanese for indigo plant. The earlier 4th-century BCE prehistoric Buni clay pottery-making culture flourished near the river's mouth.