Indonesia Pays the Price of Industrialization

Laura Arias, Staff Writer

   The Citarum River in West Java, Indonesia is currently the dirtiest river in the world. One can barely see the water in the Citarum because of the amount of garbage floating in it. Due to the disposal of domestic trash by about nine million people and the dumping of hazardous chemicals by different companies and corporations, the water is no longer safe for human use. Industrialization has made a factory out of this whole area of Indonesia, creating a reliable income for families in poverty. This example of globalization has made it so that the people living in poverty have no choice but to work in the factory, thus contributing to the destruction of their own environment and, more specifically, their water.

   A reporter from “Earth First,” Stephanie Rogers, states; “The trash that floats on top is the result of the lack of a trash pickup service in the area. All of the houses, factories, and other buildings along the river pour human waste into it for lack of anyplace else to put it.” Because the people that rely on the river are extremely poor, they have no choice but to use the river as their home, essentially using the river for any means in which it is necessary. This significantly pollutes the water with sewage and in turn creates illness.

   Nurhayati, 38, a resident of Sukamaju village in Majalaya, Bandung, has an infection on her hand that is visible on many bodies in this region. It is an infection that was triggered by the water. Local citizens cannot afford to buy drinkable water because it is relatively expensive considering the little amount of money they make. Nurhayati states that clean water is very expensive and is extremely limited. Instances as such are happening all over the world but mainly in the exceptionally poor places.

   Like many other rivers in the world, the Citaram River is highly polluted and has become useless. Although third world countries are not the creators of the problem, they have to suffer the consequences.

   Though you may not be able to directly help this cause unless you took a trip to Indonesia, changing your lifestyle in terms of using water cautiously and serving as an example for others is helping the cause indirectly. By changing your actions, you will inspire others to do so as well.

   Change the way in which you treat nature, and she will change as well.

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