Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)
Sombwe HPP follows national and international legislation, company-specific policies and international conventions. As Sombwe is located on the border to the Upemba National Park, KIPAY has undertaken the responsibility to work closely with The Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature (ICCN).
In August 2016, KIPAY submitted a preliminary Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for SOMBWE HPP to the Government of DRC as part of the national environmental permitting process. The study was undertaken by Office of Environmental and Mining Studies (OEMS). In accordance with national legislation we upgrade our impact assessment every other year, and we will continue to do so throughout the lifecycle of Sombwe HPP. The first Environmental Permit was awarded by the Congolese Environment Agency (ACE) in November 2016 and for the second update of the ESIA on 1 March 2019.
We are in fact currently rewriting our ESIA with the support of international environmental consultants to ensure that our practices continue to remain consistent with best practice and international norms. This update is carried out by the South African consultant company Knight Piesold Consulting and to be delivered September 2020. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the upgraded ESIA is expected to be delayed to June 2021. Additional field studies will be conducted by international recognised aquatic and terrestrial experts under Knight Piesold.
We have the understanding that keeping communities engaged and informed is Kipay’s responsibility. In December 2019 we committed a public consultation for the communities in Kalera and Kalera Gare.
What is ESIA?
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment is a process for predicting and assessing the potential environmental and social impacts of a proposed project, evaluating alternatives and designing appropriate mitigation, management and monitoring measures.
Environmental and Social Management
Like all large infrastructure projects, hydropower installations involve environmental and social trade-offs. Areas of land are required and water sources are diverted, meaning that rapid changes can be experienced in the project area and immediately downstream. The SOMBWE HPP is dedicated to mitigating the consequences of these changes and invests heavily in social and environmental programs to improve the lives of local people and to protect biodiversity.
KIPAY will design programs to ensure that people affected by Sombwe HPP benefit from the project in the long run, and that environmental protection in the area is enhanced rather than damaged.
Planned and expected action plans in acceptable international level. Details will need to be refined when the ESIA is updated.
Anticipated action plans :
- Biodiversity Action Plan
- Social Programs
- Environmental, Health and Safety Plan.
- Stakeholders Engagement Plan
Stakeholder engagement is a requirement within the international standards as it is recognised that failure to engage stakeholders can create signicfiant risks to development of a project. KIPAY understands that effective stakeholder engagement and public consultation is a cornerstone of successful Project development, and is committed to free, prior, and informed engagement with stakeholders throughout the Project lifecycle. KIPAY is currently developing the Stakeholder Plan for Sombwe HPP.
The key principles guiding KIPAY’s approach to stakeholder engagement on this Project are:
- To be open and transparent with stakeholders.
- To be accountable and willing to accept responsibility as a corporate citizen and to account for impacts associated with the Project activities.
- To have a relationship with stakeholders that is based on trust and a mutual commitment to acting in good faith.
- To respect stakeholders’ interests, opinions and aspirations.
- To work collaboratively and cooperatively with stakeholders to find solutions that meet common interests.
- To be responsive and to coherently respond in good time to stakeholders.
- To be pro-active and to act in anticipation of the need for information or potential issues
- To engage with stakeholders such that they feel they are treated fairly and their issues and concerns are afforded fair consideration.
- To be inclusive and accessible to stakeholders so that they feel able to participate; to receive and understand information; and to be heard.