Rivers in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are clogged with plastic waste. Our Observer, Way Muloway, recently took several videos of the alarming pollution that's spilling into the country's streets and riverbanks.
"There are lots of ways to avoid this pollution"
Muloway said the river pollution has become "catastrophic".
You don't see the water anymore when you pass the rivers, and there are very unpleasant smells. People often throw their trash into the water as they're driving by, and some urinate in a bottle before tossing it in. In some areas the smell is so bad you can't stay longer than five minutes.
I wanted to let the world know about this issue so that action is taken. There are lots of solutions that can be put in place to avoid this pollution. We don't have a recycling factory in Kinshasa or an efficient way to treat the waste. But we could launch projects of our own.
We could reuse the plastic bottles as construction material by filling them with sand and cement. We could use them to build erosion barriers, and put pressure on drink manufacturers to pay for a recycling system.
We have to take action because what's happening is catastrophic. Each time I walk by this area I see all this plastic and I think about the fish that will end up with it in their stomachs.