July 27th, 2015 (ICR News) The government of Costa Rican president, Luis Guillermo Solis declared a plan to improve water infrastructure and provide drought relief in the northern province of Guanacaste of “national interest” on Saturday, during a visit to the province to commemorate the 191st anniversary of the Annexation of Nicoya.
The plan, known as the “Integral Water Supply Program for Guanacaste,” will receive some $50 million in funding, including $6 million from a $24 million donation by China which the government received in January and nearly $2 million from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). The remaining funds will be obtained through two loans from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and service fees charged by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA).
The plan includes twelve separate projects covering areas of infrastructure improvement, technology development and conservation.
The government said the plan would improve water supply in the Tempisque River basin and the province’s coastal communities, including the expansion and repair of aqueducts in Bagaces, Liberia, Nicoya, Cobano, southern Papagayo, Santa Teresa, Mal Pais and Nimboyores.
Farmers and ranchers who have been directly affected by the record drought – the most extreme witnessed in the province since 1937 – will also be offered direct financial aid.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade estimates that losses in agricultural exports totaled $250 million in the first half of the year.