The President of Costa Rica Rodrigo Chaves declared a national emergency, seeking funds from international lenders to rebuild roads destroyed by incessant rains in the past few weeks.
Costa Rica would need US$700 million to repair schools and roads, the President said, conceding that the condition of roads is “truly deplorable” .
“I’m going to state what is obvious and evident: the infrastructure in this country is truly deplorable. When it rains, we must close roads,” Tico Times reported quoting the President as saying.
Rains have damaged more than 1,000 schools, forcing authorities to close dozens of major highways leading to tourist hotspots in Southern provinces.
Some newspapers blamed the lack of maintenance and corruption for the current condition of infrastructure, urging the government to repave them before the situation deals a devastating blow to the country’s tourism industry, a major pillar of the Costa Rican economy.
Chaves expressed confidence that the government would be able to borrow US$700 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and assured he would seek additional cash from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Earlier this week, the country’s Transport Ministry put out an advisory, urging citizens to avoid all national highways, adding that landslides could affect roads, particularly in the hilly regions.