Authorities install mesh net to hide sight and smell of Sentiong River from athletes

The Jakarta city government has come under fire for buying a giant nylon net to cover up a polluted and foul-smelling river weeks before the Indonesian capital hosts the 2018 Asian Games.

A worker collects rubbish from a section of the covered river. Aerators and “nano bubble” technology are also being used to help break down organic material.
A worker collects rubbish from a section of the covered river. Aerators and “nano bubble” technology are also being used to help break down organic material. © The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

The Sentiong River, which twists alongside the athletes’ village in Kemayoran in central Jakarta, is so polluted it is known by locals as kali item or the black river.

The administration installed a 600 by 20 metre black mesh net earlier in July to minimise the putrid stench and unsightly view.

An official from the Jakarta water resources agency said the nets were intended to hide the aquatic eyesore.

“Its function is to elevate the beauty [of the river] so that the black water cannot be directly seen by international athletes,” the official, Supriyono, told Kompas.

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