The World Bank is considering funding a project in Vinh Phuc province in Vietnam with the stated objective of improving flood management and wastewater management capacity in the region. Vinh Phuc province is a land locked province located north of Hanoi. Bank documents note that there are 29 ethnic minority groups (about 47000 people) living in the province. Project activities will be take place in two drainage basins in the center and east of Vinh Phuc. The project activities most likely to have significant social and environmental impacts include the construction of pumping stations, connecting canals and dredging works in retention lakes like Nhi Hoang, So Rung, Sau Vo and construction work in small towns adjacent to waterways. As Bank documents note, there will likely be “some permanent and temporary land acquisition” and dredging activities may impact current fishery activities. Construction of wastewater collection and treatment facilities is also planned along the Phan river. Documents also note that the implementing agency, the Vinh Phuc Provincial People Committee, does not have “experience in preparing and implementing decentralized projects at a similar size and scope” and may “limit the capacity to prepare and effectively safeguard policies”.
Location: Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam
Resources needed: Agricultural land to be acquired.
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
Environmental Assessment OP/BP 4.01 - this safeguard is triggered as there may be significant impacts up and downstream of the area of influence. Activities to manage flood risk, including dredging and canal rehabilitation will impact the quality of water, soil and air. Disposal of waste from dredging and during construction of the wastewater treatment plant may also impact the environment within the area of influence of the project.
Natural Habitats OP/BP 4.04 triggered because the project will impact the environment of the Phan and Ca Lo river. The project activities such as dredging river and lakes, embankment works, widening canals and land clearing will take place primarily in agricultural areas.
Pest Management OP/BP 4.09- triggered because [t]he project interventions will help to reduce the flood in the project area, which would lead to the increased crop production in[sic] linked with the increased use of pesticides as an indirect impact."
Physical and Cultural Resources OP/BP 4.11- triggered as the project involves large excavation activities
Indigenous Peoples OP/BP 4.10- triggered because there are 29 ethnic minority (EM) groups (about 47,000 people) living across Vinh Phuc province. These ethnic minority peoples are likely to be concentrated in the project area, including Tam Dao district, Ngoc Thanh commune of Phu Yen Township, and some communes of Binh Xuyen.
Involuntary Resettlement OP/BP 4.1- triggered because [t]he project will undertake construction and engineering works which will require permanent and temporary land acquisition. Local people could be affected by the loss of assets. It is anticipated the impacted area would be mostly agricultural landan estimated 6,500 households are potentially affected
Projects on International Waterways OP/BP 7.50- triggered because the project includes the construction of pumping stations that will discharge water to the Red River, an international waterway.
OUR RISK ASSESSMENT
Based on the World Bank's project documents, this project poses potential risks to the following human rights:
The Right to a Healthy Environment:
Project investments and activities are likely to have significant up and downstream impacts. Bank documents note activities to manage flood risk, including dredging and canal rehabilitation will impact the quality of water, soil and air. The disposal of waste from dredging and construction could also likely pose a risk to the environment in the project area. In addition to this, there are concerns of impacts to environmentally sensitive areas, especially for aquatic habitats. As project interventions are expected to reduce flooding in the project area, an increase in crop production will likely trigger an increase in the use of pesticides.
The Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
Initial screening by the Bank indicates that there are about 47,000 people in 29 ethnic minority groups living in Vinh Phuc province. Bank documents acknowledge that minority peoples are likely to be concentrated in the project area, including Tam Dao district, Ngoc Thanh commune of Phu Yen Township, and some communes of Binh Xuyen.
The Right to Housing and Property:
Temporary and permanent land acquisition is expected as a result of project activities. Bank documents note that the impacted area would mostly be agricultural land but local people could be affected by loss of assets. An estimated 6500 households will likely be affected. At this stage, no physical resettlement has been disclosed.
Bank financing: World Bank, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
Borrower: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Amount of bank loan or investment: 150 million USD
Total project cost: 180 million USD
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