A river in Bekasi, West Java, has come to represent the exact opposite of what its name means as it has made headlines across the country for the insane amount of filthy garbage that is currently clogging up the waterway.
As reported by Kompas TV above, trash, mostly plastic, including styrofoam, has recently come to cover a stretch of up to 2 kilometers of Kali Bahagia (which literally translates to “Happy River”) in Bekasi’s Babelan district. It’s predicted that all of the garbage weighs around 400 tons.
Local officials say that they suspect most of the trash was washed downstream and got stuck along Kali Bahagia. They haven’t been able to clean up the river because there is no way for for excavators to access the river due to the presence of illegally built settlement along its banks.
“Heavy machinery can’t get to the location because of the illegal homes, of which there are 204 along the river banks,” Bahagia Subdistrict Secretary Mawardi told reporters yesterday, as quoted by Detik.
The garbage problem has become so alarming in Kali Bahagia that officials from the Maritime Affairs Coordinating Ministry have visited the river, but they have yet to come up with a solution.
In January, another river in Bekasi was similarly entirely blanketed in garbage, prompting serious environmental concerns.