The world has a huge problem with pollution. People stopped caring about fresh water, clean air, and healthy food a long time ago. The only thing that matters these days is money. Businesses all over the world break the environmental regulations just to add more dollar bills to their bank accounts. Yes, that is outrageous and has to stop. However, even Leonardo DiCaprio cannot change much about it, and the world is becoming one big dump. Oh yes, if people won’t start acting now, it might be too late in the near future. But who cares about the environment as long as there is enough money in the pockets of the rich ones? Well, after seeing how polluted are the rivers all over the world, you might.
Of course, the rivers in China, India, Brazil, and other developing countries are the most polluted. However, the Western world is not innocent as well. The Americans dump their sewage into the rivers just as successfully as the Chinese. With the numbers we have today, the world will be out of fresh water pretty soon. The truth is, we let some rich bastards contaminate our source of life without any consequences. They just say sorry every time they get caught, and repeat it again. In the meantime, people, who use those polluted rivers as a source of living, suffer. Flora and fauna suffer too. In fact, millions of fishes die each year just because of pollution. So, let’s begin our journey around the world’s most polluted rivers.
15. The Marilao River, The Philippines
The Marilao River is one of 50 dead rivers in the Philippines. And there must be something wrong if the river, which is the source of living of 250,000 residents, is now dead. You guessed it right – it is all about the careless industries. The government of the Philippines does nothing to fight the problem, while all sorts of different industrial factories are dumping their sewage into the Marilao River.
Just look at the picture. Is it a river full of garbage, or simply a dump with some water? I cannot tell the difference anymore. I also doubt that people in the Philippines know the answer as well. While evil industries are dumping their trash into the river, many locals get sick from the water, contaminated with various heavy metals. The only positive thing is that Greenpeace joined the battle against the pollution in the Marilao River. We can only hope that the government of the Philippines will cooperate.
14. The Han River, China
Do you know that feeling when you go out for a swim in the river, but you find out the water is covered by a slimy layer of algae? Well, it looks like we might see how it feels if people will not start taking care of the environment. There is already a river in Wuhan, Hubei province, which became green from all the pollution.
I cannot understand how that man could find the courage to jump into the water of the Han River, but I am certain that it did not go too well. Sadly, people in China don’t have a choice anymore. I mean, pollution is spreading across all the rivers in China, and locals have to learn how to live with it. The government cannot control the rapidly developing industries, and even if they could, there is too much money involved in those businesses, so the government is choosing to close their eyes to all the environmental problems.
13. The Yamuna River, India
The Yamuna River is one of the most sacred rivers of India. Sadly, it looks like the Indians have forgotten how to treat sacred places. On top of that, the Yamuna River is one of the primary sources of drinking water in India, especially New Delhi. However, people from New Delhi throw around 58 percent of their sewage into this river. I am not a scientist, but I think it is clear that polluting the water which you will later drink is a stupid idea. That said, you can find anything from burned bodies to toxic chemicals to household garbage in the Yamuna River. It is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. However, the government of India cannot do a thing about this problem. Yes, they showed some efforts to stop the pollution, but it was more like a formality than a real action.
12. The Citarum River, Indonesia
The Citarum River is the most polluted river in the world. Five million people depend on this river to survive on a daily basis. 50,000 die each year because of its pollution. However, those same people are the reason why the Citarum River looks like a dump. Estimations show that over six million tons of human waste from households and factories end up in the Citarum River. I know, it is pretty hard to process those numbers, so just take a look at the picture again. I can barely see any water through the garbage. Some people still try to collect the trash and make the Citarum River at least a little bit cleaner, but it is an impossible mission. Asian Development Bank offered the government of Indonesia ‘a small loan’ of 500 million dollars to clean the Citarum River. That is quite a lot of money if you ask me, but it is also clear that one garbage truck is not enough to clean all the mess.
11. The Huangpu River, China
The Huangpu River is the main source of Shanghai’s water. That said, the Huangpu River also has a lot of chemicals, sewage, and other mainstream toxic metals in the water. Yet, people of Shanghai have no other option than to drink that polluted water. On top of that, there was one bigger accident in 2013, when farmers dumped 16,000 dead pigs into the Huangpu River.
Imagine how you are swimming and see 16,000 dead pigs floating towards you. It is pretty disgusting, right? Well, the Chinese agricultural experts said: “It’s like if you were swimming in a pool and found a few dead flies. It may be gross, but just how much does it affect the water quality? Besides, the Huangpu is wide, and the water is in constant motion.” If 16,000 dead pigs is not a problem to the Chinese, then what is?
10. The Niger River Delta, Nigeria
The Delta of the Niger River might be the oiliest place in the world as it is the place where the Nigerians produce most of their black gold. Sadly, the 240,000 barrels of oil stay in the water each year. Even worse, the government of Nigeria does nothing to recover it. So, for 25 years, from 1976 to 2001, there was at least one accident, involving petroleum & oil, per day. The cause of those accidents was mainly the low quality of oil platforms. The Nigerian government just wanted to pump the black gold as fast as they could, without thinking about the environment. On top of that, there are a lot of oil pirates in Nigeria, who attack the platforms and cause oil spillages. So, while rich people are fighting for the influence, the locals are suffering from all the damage. The oil has an impact on crops, and that results in famine in the area.
9. The Pasig River, The Philippines
The Pasig River (if we can still call it a river) looks downright ugly. The amount of garbage in the Pasig River has reached a level when people can easily walk on top of it just like Jesus did 2,000 years ago. Those miracles are not so impressive when you look at it this way, huh?
This time, the industries are only responsible for 30 percent of all the pollution in the Pasig River. The rest comes from the surrounding households. The locals throw 1,500 tons of garbage into the river each… day. The numbers are truly terrifying, and it is not a big surprise that the Pasig River looks like a big dump. Let’s cut the crap – it is a big dump. Good thing, the government established some organizations to fight the pollution. Bad thing, those organizations have little impact on the situation.
8. The Red River In Wenzhou
People don’t bother to call this river by the real name anymore. It has a new name “the Red River” nowadays. In 2014, the local people of Wenzhou reported that their river turned red out of nowhere. Naturally, they were quite shocked to see such a drastic change over one night. Before the accident, people used to drink the water of the Red River as no one dared to dump sewage into it. However, there is always a first time. The chief of Wenzhou Environmental Protection, Jianfeng Xiao only said: “We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because they thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain.” Sadly, there was no rain that day, and all the chemicals stayed in the river for quite some time. This whole situation is a perfect example of what the industrial sector thinks about the environment: you can destroy it as long as no one finds out.
7. The Ganges River, India
The Ganges River is the largest river in India. It is also sacred, so people use it for many different religious ceremonies, including the funeral. I don’t want to sound like a skeptic or anything, but I doubt that the Hindu Gods appreciate seeing people praying in this polluted river. I mean, why cannot people clean after themselves? It is ridiculous to think that the water of the Ganges River has any healing powers. It can only contaminate your body nowadays. However, the Indians still have hope and cleanse their souls in the Ganges River, surrounded by sewage from the industrial companies and other ignorant people.
Scientist already proved that a lot of people get cancer from the Ganges River. Yes, we are still talking about the holiest river in the world. Like Alanis Morissette would say “And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think.”
6. The Mississippi River, USA
Did you think that the water in the United States is fresh and clean? Well, it isn’t. The Mississippi River is probably the most iconic river in the U.S. It is also one of the filthiest and most polluted rivers in the world. In 2010, industrial companies illegally dumped 12.7 million toxic chemicals in the river. On top of that, careless oil producers spill a lot of oil into the Mississippi River every year. For instance, General Electric spilled 31,500 gallons of light crude oil in 2014. So, the Mississippi River doesn’t sound like the river of your dreams anymore, does it? People are afraid to swim and fish in it. I am not even talking about drinking or eating anything that touched the water of the Mississippi. So, the world faces a lot of problems with pollution not only in China and India. It happens right in front of our eyes as well. Sadly, the government chooses to be blind to the problems way too often, and people feel too weak to change anything.
5. Rajasthan Lakes, India
I know the Rajasthan lakes are not rivers, but it just must be on the list. After all, those “lakes” in Rajasthan look nothing similar to an actual lake. It is one big dump for industrial companies to get rid of their sewage and chemicals. People use it to dump their garbage as well. It makes the three most known lakes in Rajasthan – the Jal Mahal, Jaisamand, and Udaisagar – the most polluted lakes in the world.
The director of Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain stated that this situation cannot last any longer. She mentioned that 2016, with Brexit and Trump’s victory, must have been a wake-up call to the whole world. On top of that, Sunita claimed that her company has a lot of disturbing information about the pollution and India will have to start acting before more people die.
4. The Rivers Of Rio, Brazil
Do you remember all the scandals about the pollution in Rio de Janerio before the Olympic games? The best athletes from all over the world had to live under terrible conditions. However, the rowers faced the most damage. They had to row in the severely polluted rivers of Rio because the government did nothing to clean it before the Olympics. What changed after the Olympics? Nothing.
Millions of fish are dying in the rivers of Rio De Janeiro because of the pollution. As always, all the sewage comes from ignorant industrial companies and lack of regulations to stop them. It surely looks like the government of Brazil has a little agreement with the industrial sector. If it is not the case, then the Brazilian government is simply blind and careless. Either way, the locals have to suffer the consequences of the dirty and contaminated water.
3. The Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, USA
The Cuyahoga River is one of the pioneers when it comes to pollution. Cleveland was always an industrial city, so the Cuyahoga River faced many sewage problems from early days of the 20th century. I mean, The Cuyahoga River caught on fire many times in the 20th century, including the controversial fire of 1969, which caused over $100,000 damage to two railroad bridges. Maybe it is for the better that the government and the whole U.S. had to pay some money to understand that it is not right to mess with nature. On top of that, many fishes and other water creatures died because of the fire.
The Cuyahoga River fire of 1969 had a huge impact with the help of the media, so the government had to act upon it. However, you can have as many regulations as you want, but as long as the industrial companies will only care about their profit and not nature, nothing will change.
2. The Matanza-Riachuelo River, Argentina
Seven million people who live near the Matanza-Riachuelo River have to face a lot of health, clean water, and sanitary problems because the majority of Argentinians don’t give a crap about the environment. Around three million cubic feet of sewage, chemicals, and garbage enter the river every day. On top of that, large petroleum companies spill around 8 million tons of oil into the river each day. That is insane!
Who suffers the most from such outrageous actions of evil Argentinian companies? The children who live near the river. The pollution transmits a lot of sicknesses through the water into their bodies. That exposes weak children to many health problems. So, while the rich Argentinians are thinking about more money, unfortunate and innocent people pay the consequences. The only upside for Argentina is that the same stuff happens all over the world. Oh, wait… There is nothing positive about it.
1. The Jianhe River, China
We have already covered the Red River in China. It is time to talk about the Jianhe River, also known as the Bloody River. Why is it a bloody river? Well, you might understand by looking at the picture. In 2011, workers near the Jianhe River dumped all the excess left from the preparation for the Chinese New Year into the Jianhe River. Naturally, they didn’t expect that the river would change its color so radically. However, it did. This event had a huge resonance even in China, one of the most polluted countries in the world. Oh yes, people denounced this public profanation of nature. However, the government explained that the Jianhe River was clean and people should not pay too much attention to the red color, which is harmless. Well, bravo, China, bravo! As of today, people forgot about the times when the Jianhe River became the Bloody River.