Unreported World Shorts: The World's Dirtiest River


Once a tropical paradise, the Citarum river on the Indonesian island of Java is now a toxic soup containing dangerously high levels of heavy metals, rubbish and sewage.

With fish stock decimated, local fishermen have been forced to trawl the river for plastic, which they sell for recycling.

The shocking findings are available to watch and share on Unreported World Shorts: The World’s Dirtiest River - A bitesize look at one of the top ten most toxic places on earth. [You Tube link: ]

Over 10m people live along the river’s banks, side by side a textile industry that supplies some of the world's biggest fashion brands.

Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Hugo Ward expose 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: The World’s Dirtiest River

UK Premiere, Channel 4, 7.30pm, Friday 11 April

Series Outline: Critically acclaimed series on the lives of people in some of the fastest-changing areas of the world.


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