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Life along the world’s most polluted river

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)

Life along the world's most polluted river

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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