Although the president of the republic, Luis Guillermo Solis, did not visit the Nosara dike during his tour of Guanacaste, he stated that a negative impact on rivers is caused anywhere.
“It seems to me that there is a phenomenon with dikes, with all of them, we also see it frequently in the Caribbean basin, and without a doubt dikes damage the rivers and create conditions that are adverse to the natural environment even out of the rivers, because they are made to mitigate the effects of floods and unfortunately this is a residual effect of that decision. When a decision has to be made to preserve the beauty of the river or defend the population, well, generally the population is defended to the detriment of the beauty of the river,” Solis said.
Since the residents of Nosara affirm that work on the dike has already shown damages and that it will not work when the river level increases, the president assured that the National Emergencies Commission started an audit of the work.
“Although I’m not not an engineer and even though effects on the dike wall could be seen, which could be considered poor quality merely at the sight of it, I prefer that the audit be what resolves it to the satisfaction of the parties, in other words, the National Emergency Commission and the community, as to what is appropriate with respect to this dike,” he added.
The audit will also investigate the quality of the Chinese cement used by the company JCB, which is part of the first shipment of this material that was imported from China as part of the free trade agreement with that country.
Construction of the dike in Nosara began in November of 2014, and it has been criticized by neighbors since its inception. Among the criticisms are cutting down trees, the use of soil taken from a hill to build the walls, the use of Chinese cement, the design and the environmental impact.
In response to concerns about the trees that were cut down, the Nosara Development Association (ADIN) committed to reforesting the river banks. A community group called “Guardians of the Nosara River” was also formed to join efforts with the ADIN.
With regard to the quality of the cement from China, the Ministry of Economy endorsed the international certificates of resistance presented by the company. However, in light of the inhabitants’ doubts and the obviousness of the cement breaking away— The Voice of Guanacaste toured the dike in May and observed that the material breaks away easily at the touch of the hand— the CNE is carrying out an inspection to ensure that the material applied has the necessary resistance for a dike.