According to a press release on the website of the Azorean Executive, the announcement was made by the Regional Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development, António Ventura.
The Regional Secretary revealed that "a programme is being prepared that concentrates several lines of action to channel the necessary support for the resurfacing of rural and forest roads that suffered damage due to natural disasters".
The holder of the Agriculture and Development portfolio of the Azorean executive, of the PSD/CDS-PP/PPM coalition, was speaking during a visit to the repair works of the agricultural path called "Canada da Soca-Pico Melra", in the parish of Fenais da Ajuda, in Ribeira Grande, São Miguel Island.
The Regional Agriculture Secretary said that "the latest rains in the Azores have caused immense damage to rural and forest roads, with damages already exceeding 10 million Euros".
In his opinion, the creation of this programme "will allow roads to be passable to give access to farms", as many of these roads are used for agriculture, as well as by tourists in the summer.
The governor underlined "that the Regional Secretariat for Agriculture and Rural Development has to act in a different way, that is, it has to provide its own heading for rural and forestry paths in the Azores, in an attempt to concentrate financial resources, equipment and human resources, both among foresters and the IROA (Regional Institute for Agrarian Planning).
In this sense, "a programme will be created that centralizes this coordination of action, the concentration of resources and the predictability of action," added the governor, quoted in the same note.
For António Ventura, "it is important to understand that there is a path of climate change that creates a lot of unpredictability, either in intensity, either in time of year, when the rains can happen in the archipelago, and with great intensity".
The governor said it is necessary "to rethink the floor of forest and agricultural roads, it is necessary to clean the water lines, clean and build more sinkholes and all this has to be reviewed, because the climate has changed and it is preferable to act in time, in order to spend less money to the public purse.
The Azores Civil Protection identified on Tuesday, 18 January, 25 occurrences due to bad weather on the islands of Terceira and Sao Miguel, including landslides, flooding of roads and houses.
On 6 December, the Regional Secretariat for Public Works and Communications revealed that the bad weather that hit the Azores in October and November caused losses of four million euros on the regional road network.