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Will the Citarum river ever be clean?
Will the Citarum river ever be clean?
Anne-Fleur Delaistre

JAKARTA - The color of the brackish water running down the drain across Pak Udis’ paddy field changes everyday: it goes from blue to green or red. One only needs to take a look around to understand why. A textile factory was built a few meters away from this Indonesian peasant’s parcel. Over the last decades, hundreds of factories have settled in the area. If the jeans manufactured in the factories are petrol blue, the water used to irrigate the fields is blue. If the fabrics are red, the water turns reddish.

Crop yields have largely decreased since factories have started to discharge wastewater in the neighboring canals. “This rice ear is empty, there is no grain”, says Deni Riswandi, showing a sample from Pak Udis’ field. “Harvests usually take place every six months. But with this polluted rice, it takes way longer. Even after six months, this ear will remain empty.”

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A man takes a picture of a destroyed Russian tank in Nalyvaikivka, near Kyiv.

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger.

👋 Grüezi!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia warns Finland and Sweden that joining NATO would be a “grave mistake,” locked-down Shanghai announces it aims for June 1 reopening, and South Asia’s heat wave becomes untenable. Meanwhile, Peter Huth in German daily Die Welt explains why the Doomsday Clock isn’t ticking quite the same for millennials today as it was for baby boomers.

[*Swiss German]

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