The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AyA) – Costa Rica’s water and sewerage utility and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Cabei) closed a US$111.3 million dollar loan agreement to partially finance an aqueduct and sewerage program for Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas.
The “Potable Water and Sanitation in Coastal Zones, Quality Management and Service Efficiency Program” requires a total investment of US$140 million, of which the remaining US$28.7 million will be provided by AyA.
The program is composed of the construction project for the new National Water Laboratory and five water sanitation projects, namely:
- Improvements to the Guácimo de Limón Aqueduct
- Improvements to the Limón Potable Water Supply System
- Improvements and Expansion of the aqueduct system of Jacó, Garabito
- Improvements to the Aqueduct of Quepos and Manuel Antonio
- Construction of sanitary sewer in Moín, Limón
- Construction of a new National Water Laboratory in the Ochomongo locality of Cartago
The Moín sanitation project includes the construction of a Sanitary Sewer Network and Wastewater Treatment Plant. Currently, the population is in a protected area, where the springs of the area are located.
There is no treatment for wastewater that is collected in septic tanks, therefore, the project will have a significant impact on the reduction in the water table contamination of these springs. 93% of the population will have access to the sanitary sewer system.
The National Water Laboratory’s infrastructure is more than 75 years old and not entirely suitable for studies, trials and research related to the work of an ideal and modern laboratory in line with the current accreditation approaches.
The construction of the new National Water Laboratory will enable an increased productivity, implementation, research and development of trials, analysis and studies with state-of-the-art and innovative technology to ensure an adequate supply of water for human consumption, as well as sanitation and wastewater, thus guaranteeing the improvement and sustainability of water quality, a reduction of pollution and better working conditions and safety for employees and users.
In a statement, the CABEI Country Manager for Costa Rica, Mauricio Chacón, stated that, “The development of these projects gives an important boost to the quality of life of Costa Rican citizens in rural areas with a high impact on the health and economy of these populations, while also promoting efficiency, quality and the significant contribution that these projects provide to the environment. CABEI is committed to supporting institutions, such as AyA, whose projects and management significantly impact on the economic development of the country’s rural areas, inclusion and poverty reduction.”
“The Program is a priority for the country, since it represents social investment in basic infrastructure of aqueducts and sewage systems and service quality management at the national level, especially to important populations of the provinces of Limón and Puntarenas,” Chacón added .
The projects under the program are expected to be completed between 2022 and 2024.