Government Gives Account of Infrastructure, Farmland, Water and Employment in Guanacaste

Authorities took part in third meeting of Drawing Board for Guanacaste

In the presence of ministers and presidents of various key institutions, the Government gave an account of the concrete progress of the main projects designed to boost the economic and social development in Guanacaste, following the commitments they made to the province last July.

The third meeting of the “Drawing Board for Guanacaste,”—what the commission responsible for tracking solutions of province’s needs is called—took  place in Cañas, where leaders of 12 ministries and public institutions got together.

Among those present were the Ministry of the Presidency; the  Ministry of  Environment and Energy (MINAE); the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS); the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT); the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG); the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (MIVAH); the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT); the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy (MIDEPLAN); the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewer Systems (A y A); the National Emergency Commission (CNE); the Joint Social Welfare Institute (IMAS) and the Rural Development Institute (INDER).

These goals had been defined by the President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, after Guanacaste´s official ceremony for the anniversary of the province´s Annexation to Costa Rica. The President had announced the development of a series of projects to deal with the main problems that afflict Guanacaste.

Last November, the Board identified the need for inter-agency activities and the streamlining of procedures as well as the advisability of giving permanence to the civic activity accountable to the government.

The leaders pointed out that an executive decree about regional planning that allows official civic participation is about to be approved within the Regional Development Council platform in Chorotega. Additionally, the identified projects may be assimilated into the Budget Plan for effective execution.

Among the projects mentioned, there is the creation of a local innovation fair, promotion of tourism business ventures, assistance to the many communities that lack water and the intervention of 14 currently gravel roads.

The six subgroup work boards defined in this initiative have identified more than 30 imperative projects designed to boost development in the province. These deal with infrastructure, agriculture, farming and fishing, as well as with water, poverty reduction, employment and innovative technological topics.

Investigation and Innovation

 On November 6, the MICITT organized a workshop with the participation of five universities and many professional technical schools, in order to produce a series of projects: climate change adaptation, innovative education and production in fields such as information technology use in the agricultural industry. Everything came within the framework of the Regional Wholesale Market Project Chorotega Region.

The workshop also defined other projects, including geo-referenced mapping projects for adaption to climate change in the region;  and an exhibition of other innovation for Guanacaste.

Water and Hydro Infrastructure

 A y A and the CNE assist 26 communities affected by the drought, including Tamarindo and the coastal area of Santa Cruz. These regions receive fresh water through water trucks and temporary tanks.

A y A has shown progress, especially given the drought, with the creation of six new posts for the region. In addition, a technical team has been organized to deal with the many communities.

It was announced that, by the end of November, a report about the Integral Water Supply Program for Guanacaste (PIAAG) will be published.

 Housing, Education, Health and Culture

 Authorities have said that poverty has been reduced in the Chorotega region (Guanacaste) by 6 percent, going from 33 to 27 percent in the last year, according to the National Home Survey (ENAHO) from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).

 “Guanacaste is the first region that has reached the goal for assistance of families in extreme poverty due to the Strategic Bridge to Development program. More than 3,000 families have been helped,” according to the Government via a news release.

 In matters of health, the Costa Rican Social Security Administration (CCSS) has noted that the Medical Specialties Tower at Nicoya´s Hospital shows more than 50 percent of progress.

The Ministry of Public Education (MEP) is accelerating its improvement developments of the learning infrastructure in 16 educational centers in need of critical attention.

 Production, Employment and Security

 With the Regional Wholesale Market Project, the Ministry of Labor has presented a series of productive projects linked to certain activities related to tourism in the Chorotega Region. Among them,  Ruta del Oro (Las Juntas-El Dos-Tilarán), the relaunch of Chorotega Route, a tourist development in the Gulf of Nicoya with direct foreign investment.

In total, it is thought that with all the projects, there will be about 4,000 new jobs produced in the whole province.

Farming and Fishing Productivity

The Drawing Board prioritized five new projects mainly related to alleviation and adaption to climate change. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry for Science, Technology and Telecommunications will work as a group in this regard.

Other initiatives are the preparation of the producers who will supply the new Regional Wholesale Market Project Chorotega Region, water supply for irrigation, as well as strengthening the family fishing and aquaculture farming areas.

Road and Airport Infrastructure and Transport

 The MOPT gave an account for the quick release of 15 direct contracts for the easing of dust, according to the emergency decree issued to deal with the drought that affects the area. In addition, there was a report related to the existing 11 contracts to maintain gravel roads.

In addition, the Cañas-Liberia route will be completed next January, while the pedestrian bridges and the graded crossings will be delivered between the months of March and May.

The Drawing Board for Guanacaste is made up by representatives of the communities, productive sectors, local authorities, universities, representatives and government institutions, according to what  was defined by the Presidential Agreement  N° 039, signed last July 25 in Nicoya.

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