Life & Health

Canjelito of Nandayure Residents Don’t Have Drinking Water

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Residents of Canjelito of Nandayure say they feel fooled and deceived by the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA- Acueductos y Acantarillados) since, after 10 years of fighting for a community aqueduct, they still do not have viability for the project.

According to German Guevara, secretary of the Canjelito ASADA, feasibility studies were conducted in 2004 by AyA engineers, who endorsed the project. Although at the time they were told that the money was already available to build the aqueduct, the work was never done and they were told that it was no longer budgeted.

“This has been quite an ordeal! They have asked us to do a ton of paperwork, because according to them, the money was already there. However, of the two projects that there were for Nandayure, they made the aqueduct for Quebrada Nando (neighboring community), but there was no money for us,” Guevara commented.

According to Jose Manuel Carvajal, president of the ASADA, the community has a well that is 80 meters deep and has sufficient capacity to supply the community center (church, school, sports plaza, recycling center) and the houses of Canjelito and the neighboring town of Chamarros. The well was built in 2010.

The well is located about 200 meters from the community center on a lot donated by Agustin Agüero and has environmental feasibility and health studies. The only step lacking is registering the lot where the well is located in the name of the ASADA, but this requirement is already in process.

For his part, Ricardo Peralta, AyA engineer who oversees the project, explained that the work has not started because the land is not suitable for the well.

“What happens is that when they made the well, there was no melon and watermelon farming activity, which developed afterward on the land. That’s why at first when the studies were done, the well and the place were viable, but now a project can not be approved with a well that is inside a property where agrochemicals are used and the water is a public health issue,” Peralta indicated.

Surprised, Guevara affirmed that this was always a melon field, even when the process was initiated to drill the well, and that AyA never told them that the reason that the well is not put to use is due to agrochemicals in water, but because Banco Aleman bank did not approve the budget for the project.

Peralta assured that AyA is willing to implement the project. However, it is necessary to find another place that is suitable to dig a new well.

Guevara said the ASADA has another property that they will be proposing to AyA for for their approval. However, this would mean starting from scratch with the permits to make the well, which would mean expenses in excess of one million colones (about $1,875), which would need to be paid for through raffles and bingo.

For now, the community of about 200 inhabitants is supplied with water from dug wells that produce contaminated water that has to be boiled daily by residents. 

The well built in 2010 is located on a property with a melon field where agrochemicals are used.