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Costa Rica Declares National Emergency Due to Roads

The President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, decreed a national emergency due to the poor condition of roads, given the heavy rains that have affected the country and the lack of maintenance.

Chaves explained that $700 million would be requested to repair schools and roads throughout the country.

“I’m going to state what is obvious and evident: the infrastructure in this country is truly deplorable. When it rains, we must close roads; we have approximately one thousand schools with sanitary orders; in the southern region alone, more than 250 schools flooded. This is due to the carelessness and ineptitude of how the country has been administered,” said the President.

President Rodrigo Chaves pointed out that, although it has rained abundantly and various natural phenomena have impacted Costa Rica, there is no justification for the current state of the country’s infrastructure.

“We have agreed upon a clear path to avoid closing routes such as the 27 and 32, prevent potholes, road-sinking, and the tragedies we’ve unfortunately seen,” added Chaves.

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) will also issue an ‘imminent danger declaration’ due to the appalling infrastructure conditions that put people’s lives at risk.

In addition, the Executive Branch will present a bill in the Legislative Assembly for the urgent approval of a credit to begin all repairs over the dry season.

“The $700 million comes from the IMF, an environmental fund. If that is too slow, we are already talking to the IDB for a loan,” the President added.

Luis Amador, Minister of Transportation, explained that the infrastructure has been under inspection. A few days ago, he visited the Southern Zone to check its condition.

According to Amador, the area lacked the required preventive work, and many communities suffered tremendously due to the negligence of those previously in charge. 

The President of the CNE, Alejandro Picado Eduarte, pointed out that they immediately requested a damage report from the institutions to prepare the General Emergency Plan for its subsequent approval by the Board of Directors.

He also illustrated that the Executive Branch would present a bill in the Legislative Assembly for the urgent approval of this credit to take advantage of the summer conditions, which are the best for infrastructure works.

“We cannot allow the rainy season of 2023 to cause the same conditions as this year and inflict more damage. Above all, we must activate measures to protect life,” the authorities agreed.

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