The Jambe River in Bekasi, West Java, is completely clogged with garbage on Wednesday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Bekasi's 'River of Garbage'

BY :YUDHA BASKORO

OCTOBER 30, 2019

Plastic waste, food scraps, even mattresses and motorcycle helmets could be seen clogging the Jambe River in Bekasi, West Java, on Wednesday. The air reeks with a nasty smell as children play on its banks after school. 

The river runs – or more correctly, flows ever so slowly – behind Satria Jaya Permai, a housing estate in the east of the Greater Jakarta area. It is almost always dirty but for the past three days it has been totally covered in rubbish, living up to its name as Bekasi's "River of Garbage."

Yuli, 40, who lives only 10 meters away from Jambe River, said she feared a flash flood if heavy rain suddenly came while the river is still filled with refuse, just as it happened in 2014.

"If nothing is done about the garbage covering the river, I'm afraid there will be another flash flood like what happened five years ago. We were neck-deep in water back then," Yuli said.

"The garbage comes from Bogor, not from around here," she said. 

A man takes a photo of Kali Jambe River in Satria Jaya village, North Tambun, Bekasi, West Java on Wednesday (30/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man takes a photo of the clogged river. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A mattress seen at garbage canal of Kali Jamber River in Bekasi, West Java on Wednesday (30/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A mattress on top of a pile of rubbish. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
A man tries to walk above the garbages at Kali Jambe River in Bekasi, West Java on Wednesday (30/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Trying to cross the river on top of the solid pile of garbage. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
200 meters garbage canal in Kali Jambe River at Bekasi, West Java on Wednesday (30/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
This 200-meter stretch of the river is completely covered in rubbish. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Two children play near the Kali Jambe River in Bekasi, West Java on Wednesday (30/10). (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Children play on the river banks. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

 

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