Government allocates $28.5 million to mitigate impact of drought

The government is allocating 15.5 trillion colons or about $28.5 million to mitigate the impact of the continuing drought in the north Pacific and elsewhere.

The money will be taken from a number of public institutions, said the national emergency commission, which is coordinating the effort.

A plan devised by the agency and other institutions seeks to provide humanitarian and social assistance, protect the health of humans and animals, the vegetation and water sources and accumulate supplies of water.

The weather phenomenon El Niño is reducing the rainfall in much of the country, and farmers and ranchers are suffering. The emergency commission, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias, has declared an alert for 19 cantons that range from Atenas to La Cruz in the far north Pacific.

The Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados has created the Agua para Guanacaste plan to provide water to the stricken areas. This includes drilling more wells.

This will be the second year in a row that the areas were

Guanacaste is normally dry this time of year.

Guanacaste is normally dry this time of year.

short of rainfall. Many cattlemen already have moved their herds elsewhere or to the slaughterhouse. Some have low expectations of government aid.

Acueductos y Alcantarillados already has issued a general warning that drinking water may be short all over the country.

The drought also has an impact on the nation’s hydropower system, and the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad will be burning more bunker petroleum in its thermal plants.

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