QCOSTARICA – Just when things looked bright for the poverty-stricken Limon province with the beginning of construction of the APM mega dock and container port terminal, investors in the area have a serious doubt, according the La Nacion: Is there enough potable water for everyone?
Investor Frank Hilton summed it up neatly to the newspaper: “Without water, there is no project.” As one of the associates gathered to invest US$135 million in Bordon Eco Villiage Resort in Talamanca, his nervousness is understandable. He summed up the worry of investors in those six words.
It also gives Jose Luis Souza sleepless nights as well. He plans to invest $15 million to construct a housing project, Parque Multipmodal Bufalo. If there’s water. Roberto Zuniga also has the same doubts for his two expanses of land that could serve as industrial sites, If they are serviced with reliable water.
Jorge Madrigal, Limon’s regional director of the AyA water and sewer service, said his agency is developing in the mid-term (five years) a project to take water from the Banana River. One big problem: the river also is the site of the Asuncion rock quarry that is scheduled to produce the tons of aggregate for building the huge APM dock.
Even at that, investors are unconvinced by AyA’s promises. “”They tell us they’ll solve the problem in five year,” sniffed Ruben Acon of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, “but that’s not certain.” Confidence in bureaucratic promises is almost as scarce as water might prove.
For being an important port city, Limon itself shows a curious lack of infrastructure generally and no place is it more obvious than in planning for growth that seems inevitable with construction of the giant container docks.