The project aims to provide dam rehabilitation, safety and support in the region of Vietnam. According to the Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet, “The number of dams to be financed under the project is not fixed, but an initial list of 450 dams has been prioritized.” The project will focus on 34 provinces and has identified 12 dams for rehabilitation during the first year. According to Bank documents, the “sub- projects will be identified during the implementation phase.” Construction is likely and will include: activities for improving the access roads, worksite camp facilities, borrow pits, quarries and dumping sites.
Bank documents state that: “The majority of the 450 irrigation dams are classified as both small and large earth-filled embankment dams, with embedded intake structure. This preliminary list of 450 irrigation dams from 34 Provinces have been identified through an iterative, consultative prioritization process with the national and provincial authorities. Of the initial 450 dams prioritized for IDA financing, 334 (74%) are less than 15m in height, whilst 116 (26%) are higher than 15m and defined as large dams.”
The project has three components:
Location: The project will be implemented in at least 31 provinces in the North, Central and Highland regions of Vietnam. According to the Environmental and Social Management Framework, “Twelve priority dams from 11 Provinces have been identified to be included in the first year of implementation.” These include the provinces of: Tuyen Quang, Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Quang Ninh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan and Lam Dong. Other sub-projects will be identified during project implementation.
Resources needed: Although the sub- project locations are not yet determined, Bank documents indicate that both temporary and permanent land acquisition will occur during rehabilitation.
Risk Assessment: Category A.
The World Bank classifies proposed projects based on the type, location, sensitivity, and scale of the project and the nature and severity of its potential environmental impacts. Category A is assigned to a project only if it is likely to have “significant adverse environmental impacts that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented.”
APPLICABLE SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
Based on World Bank documents, the following environmental and social safeguard policies are triggered:
Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01
triggered because construction related impacts and the environmental and social impacts associated with the rehabilitation and safety improvement work. Even though overall environmental impacts are expected to be positive due to improvements of the safety of existing dams and establishment of an effective system for monitoring and ensuring the necessary operation and maintenance, only 12 of the possible 450 subprojects have gone through environmental and social impact screening. According to the Bank, all the subprojects will be reviewed with the context of no project option.
Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04
triggered because the first year subproject Environmental and Social Impact Assessments indicate there will be some loss of crops and trees as well as risk associated with possible land and soil degradation in construction sites and vicinities including improper disposal of construction wastes and spoils. Bank documents state that there will not be significant change...on hydrological regime and ecosystems due to project related activities, but this is based on a fraction of the sub-projects encompassed. An Environmental and Social Impact Assessment will be conducted for each subproject to assess the impact on aquatic ecosystems and downstream users of dam.
Pest Management OP 4.09
triggered because subprojects may lead to increased agricultural activity, which may lead to more uses of fertilizers and pesticides in the project influence areas. According to Bank documents, the project itself will not finance the purchase of fertilizers and pesticides.
Physical Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11
triggered because there is a possibility that due to excavation work, property of historical, cultural or religious importance may be found.
Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10
triggered because Ethnic Minority peoples...have been identified as being present in five of the twelve first year-subprojects. The following provides the number of affected Ethnic Minority households in each of these subprojects provinces:
An Ethnic Minority Development Plan for this project is not currently available.
Bank documents state that consultations for the first-year subprojects were met with broad support by EM peoples. Through a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) mitigations measures were developed to address adverse impact, and development activities were developed through an Ethnic Minority Development Plan (EMDP).
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.12
triggered because the project will require (minor) temporary and permanent land acquisition. Of the 12 first-year subprojects, 103 households are permanently affected with their land and crops. Only 13 need to resettle. Most are temporary affected as a result of land taking and temporary water restriction is anticipated at three out of the 12 first year subprojects. There are discrepancies between the ISDS and RAP on the number of people affected by land acquisition detailed under Our Risk Assessment)
Safety of Dams OP/BP 4.37
triggered due to nature of the project; however, the project is designed to directly address the requirements of this standard because it is it aims to improve the safety of dams with identified rehabilitation needs and at risk of structural failure.
Projects on International Waterways OP/BP 7.50
triggered because it is expected that some of the dams may be located on international river basins, though notification waivers will be sought since the work done on the dams is rehabilitative.
OUR RISK ASSESSMENT
Based on the World Bank's project documents, this project poses potential risks to the following human rights:
Right to Property & Adequate Housing
As of May, 2015, the Resettlement Action Plan (Version 4) states that a total of 37,600 household are to be impacted, of which a total of 4,500 will be affected by permanent land acquisition. In addition the total number of households to be relocated is 500. However there are some discrepancies with the data available in the documents. As of August, 2015, the Integrated Safeguards Data sheet claims that,103 households are permanently affected with their land and crops [and] 13 need to resettle.
Right to Livelihood
This project, including the sub-projects, may impact people's livelihoods. During the construction and repair of the sewers, water cut is required, so the lack of production water in a season affects significantly the lives of many people here, including 223 households from ethnic minorities. Residents rely on the Dai Thang Reservoir as their sole water source, and there is currently no additional plans for other temporary water source. Agriculture being a large component in the people's' economic source and sustenance, in turn, may be, negatively impacted.
Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Various subprojects have been anticipated to impact the ethnic minority group residing in the affected areas (See above Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10). An Ethnic Minority Policy Framework has been prepared...mitigations measures were developed to address adverse impact , and development activities were developed in consultation with the affected EM to ensure affected EM recieve development supports that are culturally appropriate to them. Careful attention must be paid to these matters, however. According to Minority Rights Group International, the current development policies [in Vietnam] tend to result in minorities and indigenous peoples losing access to traditional land and resources . . . Land and development policies in particular, accompanied by what could be described as expropriation of traditional land and resources, are completely inadequate as they take the latter away from minorities and indigenous peoples and reallocate them to mainly ethnic Kinh - with the assistance of international lending and development organizations.
As one example, the Dai Thang Reservoir subproject needs to be paid attention to in particular, given the high EM population that will be affected by land acquisition, construction, and water cut-offs during rehabilitation. Bank documents state that the Muong group accounts for 90% of the population in the project-affected area. The EMDP project states that water cut for dam construction will...impact directly on the groundwater source of households used in daily life through bored wells and dug well systems. Specially, the water cut period during the dry season gives even more severe impacts to water source for living of ethnic minority households. The water cut may also have impacts on agriculture, as the households will not be able to grow rice for a season.
Right to Food
Food production may be negatively impacted as a result of a loss of crops and trees in addition, construction phase impacts may affect the supply of irrigation water to agricultural producers with some sub- projects. Blocking irrigation may have serious negative consequences on income and access to food source. According to the Environmental Assessment, due to land acquisition, affected households will lose their homes [and] the lands that they cultivate for subsistence.
Right to Water
The first year subprojects will have to address and mitigate the risk of possible contamination to nearby drinking water, which Bank documents note could result from improper disposal of construction wastes and spoils. Similarly, the increase use of fertilizers and pesticides in the project influence areas prove identical repercussions. In addition,temporary water restriction is anticipated at three out of 12 first year subprojects. According to the Resettlement Action Plan (Version 4), a total of 32,000 households are to be affected by stopping water supply when construction (one crop affected).
Most affected populations rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Another water-related issue is the possible conflict between community members over unequal water supply. According to the Social Impact Assessment for the Da Teh Reservoir in the Lam Dong province, it is likely that there will be disputes between households when some enjoy more favorable location for water but other households don't. Though the project aims to mitigate this risk by helping local agencies and village heads develop water resource management mechanisms to avoid conflict, there is risk of inequality in the water supply between those in the upstream and those in the downstream.
Right to a Healthy Environment
The project poses a risk to a healthy environment to the extent that it may generat[e] domestic wastewater from workers, from cleaning machines and generating dust and exhaust gas due to site clearance, machines operation and transportation. Moreover, Bank documents state that there may be noise pollution on or nearby construction sites.
Right to Health
Bank documents have also noted that construction activity and an influx of construction workers create several hazards that may negatively impact community health, and place a strain on community health care centers. For example, the Social Impact Assessment for the Da Teh Reservoir explains that the participation of workers and current residents in service activities in the construction process will create holes, puddles which will cause unhygienic water and air pollution, enabling the development of flies, mosquitoes and outbreak of diarrhea, dengue fever without malaria prevention, treatment and good sanitation. The presence of male construction workers also creates the possibility of what Bank documents describe as complex social evils: heroin, prostitution, and a rise in certain diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
Bank financing: World Bank
Borrower: Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Amount of bank loan or investment: $420 M
Name: Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Contact: Mr. Tran Kim Long
Title: Gen. Director of ICD
Consultations that took place for the 12 first-year subprojects have reported “broad community support.” In March 2015, consultation took place in the following locations that with Ethnic Minority populations:
Khe Che Reservoir, Quang Ninh province
Da Teh Reservoir, Lam Dong province
Dong Be Dam, Thanh Hoa province
Dai Thang Reservoir, Hoa Binh province
The documents did not list specific times for future consultations but all the project Ethnic Minority Development Plans (EMDPs) stated that the same consultation approach used during EMDP preparation will be used for EMDP implementation. Provincial Project Management Unit will take the lead in EMDP implementation. Bank documents also state that “during project implementation, new subprojects to be identified will be subject to social screening...to ensure new subprojects will be financed only when there is a broad community support from EM peoples at sub- projects that affect them.”
PROJECT-LEVEL GRIEVANCE MECHANISMS
The Resettlement Policy Framework details the four stages of the project’s Grievance Redress Mechanism. They are summarized and quoted below:
First Stage - “An aggrieved APs [Affected Person] may bring his/her complaint to the One Door Department of the Commune/Ward People’s Committee, in writing or verbally. The member of [Commune/Ward People’s Committee] at the One Door Department will be responsible to notify the [Commune/Ward People’s Committee] leaders about the complaint for solving. The Chairman of the [Commune/Ward People’s Committee] will meet personally with the aggrieved APs and will have 30 days following the receiving date of the complaint to resolve it. The [Commune/Ward People’s Committee] secretariat is responsible for documenting and keeping file of all complaints handled by the [Commune/Ward People’s Committee].”
Second Stage - “If after 30 days the aggrieved affected household does not hear from the CPC, or if the APs is not satisfied with the decision taken on his/her complaint, the APs may bring the case, either in writing or verbally, to any member of the DPC [District People’s Committee] or the DRC [District Resettlement Committee] of the district. The [District People’s Committee] in turn will have 30 days following the receiving date of the complaint to resolve the case. The [District People’s Committee] is responsible for documenting and keeping file of all complaints that it handles and will inform the [District Resettlement Committee] of district of any decision made. Affected households can also bring their case to Court if they wish.”
Third Stage - “If after 30 days the aggrieved PAP [Project Affected Person] does not hear from the [District People’s Committee], or if the [Project Affected Person] is not satisfied with the decision taken on his/her complaint, the [Project Affected Person] may bring the case, either in writing or verbally, to any member of the PPC [Province People’s Court] or lodge an administrative case to the District People’s Court for solution. The PPC has 45 days within which to resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of all concerned. The PPC secretariat is also responsible for documenting and keeping file of all complaints that it handles. Affected households can also bring their case to Court if they want.”
Final Stage - “If after 45 days following the lodging of the complaint with the PPC [Province People’s Court], the aggrieved [Project Affected Person] does not hear from the PPC, or if he/she is not satisfied with the decision taken on his/her complaint, the case may be brought to a court of law” for a final decision to settle the complaint.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF WORLD BANK
The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at: http://ewebapps.worldbank.org/apps/ip/Pages/Home.aspx.