Daniel Ortega and Wang Jing

Quite aside from the financial viability of the proposed Nicaragua canal – the fact that its cost is estimated to be anything between $40bn to possibly $100bn surely doesn’t augur well for whoever has job of balancing the books – there appears to be growing opposition to the project among ordinary Nicaraguans. This long article, from Global Construction Review, charts how scientists, concerned that the enormous dredging work would release millions of tonnes of damaging sedimentation; that salt infiltration from coastal locks would damage the freshwater ecosystem; that the introduction of invasive foreign species from vessel ballast systems; and calculating that around 400,000ha of rainforest and wetland will be destroyed in its construction, had failed to get any insight into the project from the government. Their worries are now being translated into social unrest as it becomes increasingly clear that hundreds of thousands of people could be displaced. Construction, meanwhile, is now scheduled to begin in the summer.

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