Based on the type of project activities and environmental conditions of the project areas, the Project is categorized as B in accordance with the ADB Guidelines on Environmental Assessment. Therefore the initial environmental examination (IEE) dy for rehabilitation and reconstruction of two project roads was undertaken as part of the feasibility study. The IEE report will be submitted to MPW for approval.
The IEE found that the environmental impacts associated with the Project would mostly occur during construction. The impacts are temporary and most of the mitigation measures will be incorporated into the contract document. However, careful monitoring needs to be conducted for blasting related activities, disposal of spoiled (earth waste) materials, and potential landslides due to location of the Project mostly in mountainous and hilly areas. The contractor will be required to strictly implement the proposed mitigation measures. The IEE recommends that no environmental assessment study be conducted as the environmental impacts are temporary and insignificant.
The proposed mitigation measures are manageable and most can be incorporated in the design, construction, and operation of the Project. The mitigation measures during construction will be incorporated in the contractor job assignments, therefore the IEE report will also be made available to the contractor. An environmental engineer, who will be hired as part of the consultant team supervising civil works for MPW, will assist in preparing contractual documents so that the bidding documents and other contractual obligations of the contractor clearly identify environmental responsibilities and describe penalties for noncompliance. MPW through its site offices will be responsible for implementing the overall environmental monitoring and management plan. Any change on alignment needs to be reported to ADB, and therefore the necessary environmental assessment study would be conducted. In addition, MPW, in close consultation with ADB, will provide remedial measures for unforeseen environmental impacts that were not covered in the IEE report.
Overall, the land acquisition and resettlement impact for the Project will be significant. The total land requirement has
been estimated to be 212.6 hectares (ha), of which 162 ha is barren unproductive land and the remainder (50.6 ha) is
privately owned agricultural land. Although most of the improvement works will be carried out within the existing right-of-way, a narrow strip of agricultural land to be acquired will affect about 1,515 households who will lose a portion of their total agricultural landholding and 4,000 wood trees. On average, the agricultural households would lose 0.028 0.008 ectares. Nearly 59 households will lose a portion of their residential structure, of these only 8 households will require relocation. About 141 households operating roadside shops/small businesses will be affected with the majority losing extended areas; 23 households will require relocation. No common property resources or religious structures will be affected but 110 employees and 785 sharecroppers will suffer temporary income losses. Overall the Project will affect 2,583 households and 21,517 people.
|During Project Design
The project development and activities were discussed with the local communities during the consultation meetings at various project locations. The discussions were held with all the primary stakeholders and the secondary stakeholders including the local administration, Land Asset Agriculture Department, etc. and with various other international and local agencies involved with the rehabilitation and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The directly affected populations were consulted to understand their concerns regarding the road construction and gather suggestions on the types of mitigation measures that should be considered to address the envisaged impacts.
The Project has identified and consulted with both primary and secondary stakeholders. During social analysis extensive consultations were carried out with the local people (men and women), road users, truck drivers, vehicle operators, shop owners, farmers, traders, nongovernment organizations in the prominent towns, villages in the project influence area to ascertain their response to the construction of road, and their needs and demands from the Project. Apart from the public meetings, focus group discussions were organized with the young, old, men, and women from different occupations and population groups to ensure a comprehensive perspective on the Project as well as its impacts. All those consulted had positive reactions toward the Project and welcomed the benefits that improved access and/or road conditions would provide. They also emphasized that households that will be adversely affected should be compensated by the Project for their losses, so that they are able to reestablish their livelihoods and take advantage of road improvement.
During the Project Desing phase it was closely consulted with Ministry of Public Works (MPW), Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Finance.
|During Project Implementation
The loan agreement signed by Ministry of Finance (MoF) as an Employer and The project was implemented by Ministry of Public Works (MPW) as an Implementing Agency (IA).
During implementation, MPW is assisted in conducting the consultations by the nongovernment organization (NGO) that were contracted for resettlement plan implementation. A summary of the resettlement plan and entitlement matrix translated into the local language (Dari) and disclosed to those affected and made available in local MPW offices, Afghanistan Resident Mission, and ADB website. The NGO kept the affected people informed about the impacts, compensation, and assistance proposed for them; and facilitated addressing any grievances. Those affected will participate in all the decisions and implementation of the resettlement plan. They were involved in the grievance redress committee to review and resolve any dispute concerning compensation and other resettlement benefits. Finally, onsite consultation is still continuous during project implementation to ensure that those
affected receive their due entitlements/benefits.