THE RIVER AND ITS PEOPLE
The Ganges in danger
In West Bengal, the Ganges, one of the largest rivers in the world, is also one of the most polluted.
Since the dawn of time, the sacred river has carried thousands of tonnes of faecal BACTERIA, as well as human cadaver waste, the remains of cremations, into the waters of the delta.
CHEMICAL POLLUTION (arsenic, chromium, mercury and coal) results from the numerous factories dating back to the British colonial period.
PLASTIC is the most recent pollution, with 438 million tonnes dumped into the river every year.
In addition to visible waste, monsoon rains washes 3 billion microfibers from the main riverbed into the Bay of Bengal every day.
Every year, MONSOON rains, cyclones and floods wash away more alluvium, the sediment necessary for fertile farmland.
The extreme pollution of the Ganges leads to major and growing contamination of the Indian Ocean.
The harmful effects on marine life are also only just beginning to be understood.