Citarum is the longest and largest river in West Java, Indonesia.It is also the third longest river in Java after Bengawan Solo and Brantas. The river is so polluted, you can’t even see the surface of the water. Over 10 million people live along the river’s banks, side by side a textile industry that supplies some of the world’s biggest fashion brands.
The extraordinary amount of untreated toxic waste from the textile factories, non-degradable plastics, household rubbish, dead animals and fish and human effluent blanketing the Citarum river, which 35 million people rely on for drinking, cooking and washing. Unreported World (Channel 4)’s Rhodes examines how, over the last few decades, more than 60% of its fish species have been wiped out and replaced, not only with the detritus yielded by a population explosion, but also with uncountable amounts of lead, mercury and chemicals from the textile factories on which vast swathes of the region and much of the Indonesian economy has come to depend.