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Concession Holders Destroy Tempisque Riverbank by Extracting Sand

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Residents of the community of Los Angeles of Palmira in Carrillo, Guanacaste, reported that concession holders have destroyed the Tempisque River and endangered the community in case of flooding.

The neighbors are upset with the Ministry of Environment for having authorized a concession to extract sand from the Tempisque River, work which was done using a backhoe to descend into the river and remove the sand.

The head of the environmental office of the Municipality of Carrillo, Henry Duarte, said that at the time he had opposed the concession because it affected the natural defenses of various communities against the overflowing of the river during rainy season.

He said that the National Environmental Technical Secretary (Setena) approved the permit for sand extraction, despite the reasons given by the Municipality of Carrillo. The neighboring communities of Filadelfia, such as La Palmera, are concerned that the heaviest part of rainy season is coming up and they could be affected.

They said the concession holders broke the wall of the river in one of the river’s bends, and it could flood several neighborhoods. They are asking the environmental authorities to void the concession for extraction from the river with machinery. In the area, until recently, the only concession holders were sand artisans who remove the sand with shovels and use oxen to move it to a collection site.

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