JAKARTA : The President of Indonesia said yesterday that the water from the Citarum River should be potable within seven years under a new project to clean the river on Java Island, often ranked among the most polluted in the world. world.
in West Java to the sea near the capital, Jakarta, the Citarum feeds three hydroelectric power stations and is used for 400,000 hectares of rice paddies.
The Citarum basin supports 28 million people, although the river is drowned with domestic waste and contaminated with dangerous levels of dyes and heavy metals pumped by factories to its tributaries.
"The Citarum River, which was once clear, is now the most polluted," President Joko Widodo wrote on Twitter after visiting the river source in West Java yesterday. 19659002] "We are trying to clean it as quickly as possible and we hope that in seven years it can be a source of drinking water," he said.
The government also plans to replicate the Citarum project in other basins that need cleanup, Widodo said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of US $ 500 million (RM1.9 billion) to Indonesia in 2009 and initiated a 15-year clean-up plan.  Eric Quincieu, water specialist at ADB, said that the bank had financed US $ 41.9 million of that amount so far, spent on the development of an "integrated water resources management roadmap" for the Citarum, between other articles.
"There have been challenges in mobilizing the support of local governments to implement (the road map)," Quincieu said in an email, adding that the plan needed coordination between national and local governments, civil groups and the private sector.
Tubagus Haeru, an official of the Coordinadora The Ministry of Maritime Affairs, which oversees the cleanup project, said previous attempts to clean up the river had been costly and had not worked.
"Ministries have been working alone, local governments work for themselves and the community unit has been working on its own," Haeru told Reuters
Research conducted by the Blacksmith Institute in 2013 found lead levels in the Citarum over 1,000 times the US standards UU for drinking water, while aluminum, manganese and iron levels higher than those recommended.
"The fact is that the Citarum goes on like this, and several media have been saying that it is the dirtiest river in the world," Haeru said.
The last cleanup effort began earlier this month and involves police, military, government departments, organizations and the public in the 25 districts through which the river passes. – Reuters