El Nuevo Diario: More Nicaraguans See Job Opportunity in the Canal Project
By: Ricardo Guerrero
Seven in ten Nicaraguans consider the Interoceanic Canal as a serious project and almost eight out of ten approve its construction and want the work to be completed because it would create jobs, according to the results of the latest survey of M&R Consultores.
Data from the same survey indicate that 74.7% of Nicaraguans said they want the Canal Project to be carried out. 62.7% of the citizens who declare themselves as independents and 52.6% from the opposition also advocate the construction of the mega-project, and the percentage reaches 85.6% among supporters of the Sandinista National Liberation Front.
74.7% also think that the project should be executed because it would create jobs and bring further development to the country.
At the same time, 69% of the respondents, which means seven out of ten, said that the Interoceanic Canal is a serious project, while 77.6% of the respondents approved its construction and 74.7% want it to be built. Also, five out of ten respondents would oppose the work for fear of environmental damages.
For the people who live along the route where the Canal will pass, 67.9% believe that the project is serious while 69.2% of Nicaraguans who live out of the canal route feel the same way.
Also the percentage of people who doubt that the work would succeed has declined from 16% in June to only 8.4% this September.
Nicaragua began on December 22, 2014 the construction of a 278-kilometer canal in the south of the country to connect the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It intends to be three times larger than the Panama Canal and will provide infrastructure and logistics for the largest ships in the world.
The investment for this project is estimated at US$50 billion (more than four times the GDP of Nicaragua, which is estimated at US$ 12 billion) by the Hong Kong-based company, HKND Group, concessionaire of construction and management of the Project. It is also calculated that the project will provide employment to 50,000 people, 25,000 of which will be Nicaraguans.
Preserve the Lake Nicaragua
Another result of the survey, regarding the construction of the Interoceanic Canal, highlights that 49.5% of the citizens living along the proposed canal route, believe that the Project represents an opportunity to restore and preserve Lake Nicaragua. Meantime, 63.8% of the Nicaraguans living out of the route believe that the project would help preserve the Lake.
According to the survey, six out of every ten Nicaraguans are convinced that the land owners located along the canal route will be benefited. This perception is higher among people who live out of the canal route.
The public opinion survey of the firm M&R Consultores was carried out from September 1 to October 14 and engaged 1,698 citizens above 16 years old, 394 of which were from Managua, 212 from the West, 359 from the North, 310 from the South East, 298 from the central part of the country and 125 from the Atlantic, with a confidence level of 95% and margin of error of ± 2.43%.