The Health Ministry issued eight sanitary citations against the Municipality of Liberia for a range of violations including stagnant water, poor waste management and improper maintenance of city properties.
Following an information request by The Voice of Guanacaste, a report by the Chorotega region’s health rector states that the Liberian municipality is the only local government office in the province to have received these types of citations.
The Health Ministry citations require property owners to remove all materials and cease all activities that cause unsanitary conditions. The orders are obligatory and failure to act to correct the problems can lead to legal action by the ministry.
Targets of other complaints mentioned in the report include local businesses, homes, shops and junkyards.
Of the province’s cantons, Liberia had the most complaints. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Liberia is the canton with the greatest number of sanitary problems, as a high number of complaints could be attributed to a proactive public that is accustomed to taking action, Liberia Health Rector Mariano Calvo González said.
According to Calvo, the lots named in the report are located in La Victoria, San Roque and Corazón de Jesús. The property in Corazón de Jesús has had several problems with its drainage system.
“Ninety percent of these properties (in the Municipality of Liberia) are located in heavily populated neighborhoods or marginalized areas,” Calvo said. “The municipality already has complied with some of these orders.”
The municipality’s response
Liberia Mayor Julio Viales said all of the city’s citations were issued under the previous administration.
“We’re working to correct all of these problems with two engineers from the municipality’s engineering and environmental departments,” the mayor said. “In the past two months we haven’t received a single citation.”
Viales said the problem in Corazón de Jesús will be fixed with the installation of a new drainage system.
Workers will deliver trash littering the properties to the municipal dump to be processed before being sent to the company Tecnoambiente in Miramar de Puntarenas, as Liberia’s garbage dump currently is closed.