Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Come on in, the water's fine!

The pungent Citarum River is getting some international attention, and it ain't pretty.

Environmentalists claim the West Java waterway is among the world's most polluted, and from the accompanying photo they may just be right. Now the New York Times has taken a look at how the river - which supplies household water for 80% of Jakarta and its millions of residents (and factories, which aren't helping with their chemical dumping) - is basically a fetid cesspool.

Enter the Asian Development Bank, and its $500 million loan to help clean things up. Ironically the financial aid is getting some local blowback, from those who say that the kitty will probably be pocketed or misspent. Perhaps so. But given the current state of affairs, even if only a portion of that half-billion makes it into useful cleanup projects, it'll be a welcome infusion for health issues and quality of life.

Today's Top Stories

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