The Indonesians turning dirty waterways into clean fish farms

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Irfah Satiri slightly bends down to drag a plastic bag out of the mud at the bottom of a waterway.

“Maybe, it’s been here for years,” he says.

The paddy fields that used to surround Satiri’s village in Bogor, south of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, have mostly been built over by housing. Only these irrigation channels remain.

Over the years, the waterways became a dumping ground for waste. Despite the foul smells, most of the villagers did not care, Satiri says.

“I was really stressed about the garbage in the river, and how I would solve this problem.”

Soon after, Satiri and his friends came up with an idea. They started with a 30-metre stretch of waterway. They cleaned it out and populated it with fish. When the other villagers saw that it could be a source of food and income, they joined in.

Nowadays, the fish farm is more than 300 metres in length, while neighbouring villages are thinking of doing the same.

Al Jazeera went to the village to find out more.

The Indonesians turning dirty waterways into clean fish farms

A group of villagers has come up with a sustainable plan to stop people polluting their water channels – and it worked.

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