RIVERS - THE DIRTY DOZEN
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AUGUST 2014 - Mumbai:
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi's ambitious initiative to clean up the river
Ganga has attracted interest from Germany, which is keen on providing its
expertise to carry out the multi-billion dollar project.
Around ninety percent (90%) of plastics in the ocean comes from just 12 rivers.
The top 12 most polluted rivers in the world have one thing in common – they are located alongside large human populations with poor waste management (PWM) systems.
Rivers drain the land carrying with the water-flow, man-made rubbish, to join the ocean currents where plastic waste and other litter is washed out to sea making it harder to track and collect. These plastic hot-spots would be prime targets for SeaVax machines operating in RiverVax mode.
Rivers are a logical target if we want to start cleaning up our oceans cost effectively. The following list is generally accepted to be the top twelve most polluted rivers in the world in 2015, but not necessarily the source of the most plastic:
2. Ganges River, India - The Ganges River is considered the most sacred river in India by the Hindus. It is the third largest river in the world and it is believed that its water can cleanse the sins of people.
4. Buriganga River, Bangladesh - Buriganga is also known as the Old Ganges in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries around the world and is right now suffering from every kind of pollution that exists.
5. Yamuna River, India - The river is crystal clear and blue near its source in the Himalayas but as the river flows down the water becomes extremely polluted with sewage, industrial garbage, agricultural run- off etc.
6. Jordan River, Israel - The Jordan River originates from the Anti-Lebanon and Mount Hermon mountain ranges covers a distance of 223 km. The river has severely deteriorated especially the lower reaches of Jordan are full of untreated sewage and contaminated water flowing from agricultural lands.
7. Yellow River, China - The Yellow River of China is drying up fast due to expansion of factories, cities, agricultural farms etc. and whatever water is left is contaminated badly. The water is so toxic that it is not fit for agriculture.
8. Marilao River, Philippines - The Marilao River flows through the Bulacan Province Philippines and empties in Manila Bay. The main sources for polluting this river are tanneries, textile factories, piggeries, gold refineries and municipal dumps.
9. Sarno River, Italy - The Sarno River is one of the most polluted rivers in Europe. It flows in southern Italy near Pompeii and Naples. In recent years many cases of liver cancer have been reported which shows the level of degradation of the river.
10. Mississippi River, USA - The Mississippi River in USA is also known as the ‘Big Muddy’ as the water of this river is usually brown because of pollution. Crude oil spills reported in the river which has made the water toxic and is poisonous to the marine life. The river is a sewer for farmers and industrialists making it one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
12. Pasig River, Philippines - The Pasig river is a 27 km long river in Philippines which passes from west of Laguna de Bay and moves downstream to east of Manila Bay. This river is termed biologically dead.
If you know of a more polluted river, or one that should be a candidate on a bigger list, please contact Cleaner Ocean Foundation.
HOLY GANGA - The Ganges is considered to be the fifth most polluted river in the world. It contains human waste and industrial contaminants, but provides water for about 40% of India's population, yet millions of Indians depending on it for their daily needs. In 2015 the river was considered to be the 2nd worst offender.
year the world, produces 300 million tonnes of plastics, and 8.8 million tonnes of these are dumped into the oceans. That’s about 40 billion plastic bottles, 100 billion single-use plastic bags, and 522 million personal care items.
Approximately 700 marine species are in danger of extinction because of plastic pollution.
The rivers noted, added to hundreds of other lesser contributors feed the five gyres.
FAST FOOD SLOW RECOVERY - If we all work together we can significantly impact on scenes like this. We have been enjoying the benefits of plastic without ensuring that this durable medium does not unduly affect marine life. Unfortunately, retrospective measures will take longer to achieve equilibrium, but we must act now if we want to prevent more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
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