Is This an Image of the Nairobi River?

This post on X (formerly Twitter) bears an image allegedly showing the Nairobi River. 


The Nairobi River, once a source of food, water, and recreational activities, is now ill-suited for human activities owing to years of pollution. Various regimes have tried to implement measures to clean the river with little to no improvement to show for it. On November 28, 2022, President William Ruto publicized his plans to rid the Nairobi River of effluents. Led by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, individuals from the Nairobi County government, the National Government, and the Private Sector will work together to coordinate the clean-up exercise. 


A Google reverse image search reveals the image is of the Citarum River in Indonesia. The article reported pollution of the river and the effect this has on the people who depend on it. 

The Citarum River is the largest and longest river in Indonesia’s West Java Province. Its water is treated for drinking in the cities and generates electricity for the Java and Bali provinces. Since the water is for domestic use, the river’s pollution by industries, farms, and neighborhoods is a cause for alarm. The accumulation of plastic waste in the river could also lead to floods.

More articles reporting pollution in the Citarum River, bearing the same image, were published here, here, and here.


This image is NOT of the Nairobi River.

This fact check was published by Piga Firimbi with technical support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck newsdesk, through the African Fact-Checking Alliance (AFCA).

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