A view of Citarum River (Source: Antara)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Indonesian government has expressed determination to clean the Citarum River in West Java through the Citarum Harum (fragrant Citarum) project which was approved in February this year.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo set an ambitious target of making the river’s water “very clean” in 2025. However, the cost of the project has yet to be announced.

With a length of 297km, the Citarum River is the third longest river in Java after Bengawan Solo and Brantas.

Japan and China have expressed interest in the project.

Earlier this year, there was a meeting between Japan’s Deputy Environment Minister Arata Takebe and Environment and Forestry Minister of Indonesia Nurbaya Bakar to discuss the project.

China has also sent three experts to Indonesia to introduce solutions to clean the river.

The successful implementation of Citarum Harum will be a boost for 30 million people living near the river, spanning from Bandung in West Java to Jakarta. They depend on the river for water supply, hydropower and farming. Most of Jakarta raw water supply for tap water comes from Jatiluhur Dam which captures water from Citarum.

In 2008, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) calculated that the project will cost 3.5 billion USD.

In 2013, the ADB and the World Bank released another report stating that two-thirds of the pollution was coming from municipal domestic waste and the rest from industrial and agriculture waste. The cost to treat domestic waste stood at 14 trillion Rp (1.02 billion USD), while industrial waste stood at 1.6 trillion Rp (116.8 million USD). Meanwhile, financial benefit of cleaning the river was estimated at 2.1 trillion Rp per year.-VNA