Cruz Roja seeks out hidden health hazards in Limón wells

Cruz Roja worker pumps out a suspected polluted well. Photo: Cruz Roja

When the flood waters recede, there are plenty of problems left behind.

Mud is the most obvious, and Costa Ricans who live in flood-prone areas might clean the mud from their homes twice or three times a year.

But then there are hidden health problems. One of these are polluted water wells. Domestic water lines have not reached all parts of Siquirres or Valle de la Estrella or even Pocosí.

Low lying wells, some of them dug and not drilled, become inundated with polluted flood water. That is why the Cruz Roja has begun cleaning and sterilizing some 1,200 wells. The work is being done in conjunction with health officials. November and December were big months for local flooding in the province of Limón.

Two portable labs and two vehicles are involved in the work. The Cruz Roja workers are applying chlorine to the wells to eliminate harmful bacteria as well as doing a physical cleaning. Then they test to make sure the water is drinkable.

Cruz Roja photo
Cruz Roja worker pumps out a suspected polluted well.

The Red Cross Federation’s Pan American Disaster Response Unit is supporting the fund with 92,000 swiss francs, about $96,569.

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