When it rains, the water flows more than 30 centimeters above ground level. The cafeteria, the shed, the restrooms and the classrooms flood completely. Photo Dirección del Liceo de Samara
When it rains, the water flows more than 30 centimeters above ground level. The cafeteria, the shed, the restrooms and the classrooms flood completely. Photo Dirección del Liceo de Samara

QCOSTARICA by Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo, Vozdeguanacaste.com – Although the amount of rainwater has not been as abundant as in previous years, the little bit that has fallen so far this rainy season has been enough to flood the Samara High School facilities. Because of this, both the administrative staff and the board of education of the institution are seeking to move the campus to a safer place.

Maria Benita Gomez Moreno, director of the institution, said that since its inception in 2007, the high school has flooded whenever it rains, a situation that affects about 140 students from the district of Samara including Buena Vista, Cangrejal, Chinampas, El Torito, Terciopelo, Matapalo, San Fernando and other towns.

“For the three years since I have been the director of the institution, all of this floods and the problem continues. At times, we have had to suspend lessons. We cannot work like this,” said Gomez Moreno.

Apparently the problem has to do with the fill dirt that forms the foundation of the land, which is well below the level of the main road and causes an unevenness that causes the water coming down from the top of a mountain in the community of El Torito to flood the high school.

Added to this inconvenience, the rainwater that comes down into the school does not have adequate drainage since it accumulatesalong the wall that borders Villas Samara hotel, which is next to the school property.

Similarly, Oscar Vargas Rojas, the school’s caretaker, expressed concern because the electrical wiring for the school is in a subterranean box that is not completely enclosed by tubes since it was placed, so when it rains, water covers the the wires that are exposed, which is a potential risk to the lives of students and staff.

“I don’t understand how such a bad job could be done. Here when it rains, the water reaches up to 30 centimeters. Here there are 460 volts of current. Everyone’s life is at risk. We can’t continue here,” Vargas expressed.

Relocation Is a Priority

The relocation of the Samara High School facilities is the option that is emerging as a solution, according to officials from the Ministry of Public Education (MEP- Ministerio de Educacion Publica).

The schooldirectorexplained that they havein mind a lot located in the area known as Canto delos Gavilanes, which is about two hectares, and for now, it is the property that have presented the MEP.

For her part, Melissa Barrantes, architect for the Department of Educational Infrastructure and Equipment (DIEE- Direccion de Infraestructura y Equipamiento Educativo), reported that they are aware of the needs of the high school and verifiedmatters during a technical visit to the institution on July 30th, where they found evidence of severe flooding and problems with the septic tank and drainage, among other issues.

“We proceeded to pay a visit to the proposed lot to see the location, and during the month of September, we will be presenting it to the DIEE Land Unit for them to evaluate it and determine if it is suitable for construction,” she reported.

Among the requirements that the land must fulfill are: access to basic services (water, electricity, telephone), preferably flat ground topography and the land should have a minimum area of 1000 square meters.

Josue Ruiz Guerrero, head of the engineering department for the Municipality of Nicoya, believes it is best to move the school to another location. In the meantime, an option that he considered feasible is to drain rainwater by means of a kind of drain formed by exposed rocks along a ditch that would empty into the sea.