Hot Under the Cholera
The Yamuna river, the largest tributary of India’s holiest river, the Ganges, is so severely polluted that it brings death rather than life to the people along its banks, breeding cholera, malaria, and other diseases. The government’s 1993 cleanup plan for the river, which focused on building more sewage treatment plants, has barely made a difference. The facilities are unable to cope with fecal coliform and the massive amounts of industrial wastes, pesticides, and fertilizers that make their way into the river. The Yamuna runs through India’s capital Delhi and grows more contaminated with each city through which it passes, as untreated sewage and other wastes are dumped directly into it. Still, many of the 60 million people living along the river use it as a source of drinking water.