The Water Resources Development Investment Program (the Investment Program) is financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), through a multitranche financing facility (MFF). The Investment Program has an environmental assessment and review framework and cumulative environmental impact assessment. Each project under the MFF will have individual safeguard documents as required by ADB. The first tranche had an initial environmental examination and is classified as environmental category B according to ADB guidelines.
An EARF and cumulative impact assessment were prepared for the Investment Program following the Government's existing environmental laws and regulations and ADB's Environmental Policy (2002).
The EARF lays out the procedures and provides guidance for environmental due diligence under the Investment Program. Environmental capacity development for the Investment Program will be supported through the implementation consultants' environmental specialist, who will be part of the safeguard team in the PMOs. The PMOs, with support from the consultants, will be responsible for environmental monitoring and implementation of the environmental management plans (EMPs). For future tranches, initial environmental examinations (IEEs), or environmental impact assessments, if required, will be prepared following the EARF and included in the appraisal report, with due public consultation and information disclosure. The finalized IEEs will be submitted with the PFR for ADB approval.
The IEE, including an EMP and summary IEE, was prepared for the first tranche, which is classified as category B in terms of environmental impacts. The Project should have positive impacts on the environment including improved water-use efficiency, protection of assets from river bank erosion and flooding, and better land-use management. Potential negative impacts include (i) erosion of flood protection infrastructure; (ii) dust, noise, and waste during construction; (iii) flood flow displacement due to headworks operation; and (iv) possible degraded surface and groundwater quality and public health due to increased use of agricultural inputs. These will be mitigated by (i) development of a contractors' environmental management plan based on the EMP, with monitoring benchmarks; (ii) operation of infrastructure to minimize flood damage; (iii) WUA training for improved water management; and (iv) RBA capacity building related specifically to developing and implementing technically, socially, and environmentally sound operational policies and procedures. All of the environmental due diligence documents for the first tranche and Investment Program are found in Supplementary Appendix D.
A land acquisition and resettlement framework (LARF) was prepared based on the laws of Afghanistan and in accordance with ADB's Involuntary Resettlement Policy (1995) and Operations Manual49 and endorsed by the Government. The LARF has established a process for (i) resettlement categorization of project activities as A, B, or C based on ADB guidelines; (ii) assessment of required resettlement activities; (iii) preparation of any required resettlement plans or other safeguards documents; (iv) compensation to affected persons prior to commence of civil works; and (v) grievance redress among other resettlement activities. The safeguards teams in the PMOs will be responsible for all resettlement activities and prepare any required resettlement plan(s). The categorization form and draft resettlement documents for subsequent tranches will be submitted for ADB approval with each PFR. The PMO and implementation consultants and/or contractors will update resettlement plans during detailed design. Resettlement plans will be implemented only after they have been formally approved by the IA and cleared by ADB. No notice to proceed will be given for civil works until the resettlement plan is fully implemented in the construction area. The PMO will monitor the resettlement plan implementation and report to ADB. In addition, an external monitoring agency will be engaged by the PMO and will have responsibility for (i) confirming that any required land acquisition and resettlement activities have been completed prior to commencement of civil works, (ii) assessing implementation, (iii) progress reporting, and (iv) assessing the impact of the land acquisition and resettlement activities. The external monitoring agency findings and quarterly reports will be filed independently with the EA, IA(s), and ADB, and relevant information may be included in PMO reporting. A nongovernment organization may be engaged as required to support the PMO with the preparation and implementation of resettlement activities. The LARF will ensure that women receive due compensation for losses, and that women who are de facto household heads are clearly listed as beneficiaries for compensation. The Government of Afghanistan has agreed to pay resettlement compensation costs.
Tranche 1 has been categorized as category B for resettlement. The NBD component will require some land acquisition that may impact up to five families, but no relocation is required. The flood management component requires compensation for 19 families that are currently farming in the area of the proposed protective embankment. Short land acquisition and resettlement plans (SLARPs) have been prepared for the affected persons. A summary of the LARF is found in Appendix 14 and the full LARF and SLARP are in Supplementary Appendix C.
|During Project Design
||Consultations were undertaken by the project preparation consultants with farmer irrigators, the landless, sharecroppers, herders, community elders, officials from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and government authorities. In addition, small workshops and meetings were held in each of the project component areas, and a large final tripartite workshop was held in Kabul at the end of the project preparation. The views of the communities and proposed project beneficiaries were incorporated into the project design. Consultation is integral to the project design with regard to the development of water users associations (WUAs), which will be empowered to assume formal responsibility for the management and operation and maintenance of large portions of the irrigation system, and will share decision-making responsibility for infrastructure improvements.