Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

Government of Costa Rica considers expanding emergency decree due to drought

Government of Costa Rica considers expanding emergency decree due to drought



The Government of Costa Rica announced on Sunday that it is studying the possibility of extending an emergency decree signed in 2014 in order to address the drought that affects the country as a result of the El Niño phenomenon.

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The president of the National Emergency Commission (CNE), Alexander Solis, said that the objective is to face the problem of drought, finalize ongoing projects and achieve an injection of funds that were budgeted.

"We are working on compiling the data that allow us to demonstrate the causality of the aggravated effect of the previous drought impacts and the rainfall deficit registered in the periods prior to this dry season, that is, we had a drought in 2014 the one that we have not yet recovered and this year we will be under the influence of the El Niño phenomenon, "explained Solís.

In October 2014 to face a drought the government of then President Luis Guillermo Solis, signed an emergency decree whose scope is valid for five years.

Given the current drought, the government of President Carlos Alvarado is studying the possibility of extending that decree.

The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) of Costa Rica reported at the end of March that the El Niño phenomenon is causing a rainfall deficit that reaches 55 percent with respect to the historical average, with greater affectations in the province of Limón (Caribbean ) and in Guanacaste (North Pacific).

The forecast indicates that temperatures this year will be between 0.5 and 1 degree centigrade above the average in Guanacaste and Puntarenas (central Pacific).

Guanacaste and the northern zone will experience a delay of between one and two weeks in the entrance of the rainy season due to El Niño, and a decrease in rainfall of between 10 and 20 percent in the period between April and June 2019 , according to the projections.

The data from the CNE indicate that communities of 33 of the 82 municipalities of the country are presenting some level of affectation in terms of water scarcity for human consumption.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Renato Alvarado, commented that there is "a clear need to build greater irrigation systems and greater access to water" and that it is also necessary to support families that depend on fishing.

The CNE has 6.7 million dollars to mitigate the effects of the phenomenon in the framework of a contingency and monitoring plan in areas such as water supply for human consumption, health care, agri-food and environment, road infrastructure and works fluvial, as well as communication and awareness.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has $ 8.7 million to train producers to adapt to the dry conditions, as well as to generate socio-economic and environmental vulnerability maps, which allows for the decision of mitigation actions.

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