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Baku, Azerbaijan, November 2013

The project specific Social Impact Assessment Reports (SIARs) for Water Supply & Wastewater Investments in four rayons (provinces)  – Aghsu, Ismayilli, Shabran, and Siyezen – of Azerbaijan have been completed and submitted to AWM OJSC in Baku by Azerbaijan Regional Office of Aim Texas Overseas Management Group in November, 2013.

The SIARs are prepared for only project corridor of Water Supply and Waste Water Investment in the project rayons (provinces)  in scope of SNWSSP of Azerbaijan.

“The reports provide socio-economic baseline for the project rayons, and identifies project impacts, enumerates their avoidance or where avoidance is not possible, their mitigations, conducting;

  • Land acquisition, households and census surveys, and
  • Consultation with stakeholders, local communities along project corridor, and potentially affected groups.

The SIARs commenced with consultations with the project proponents regarding the general policy guiding the project, and its goals and objectives. This was followed by an internal consultant’s round table in which various aspects of the project were discussed using designs of the construction contractors.  A reconnaissance visit was then executed in which base maps of the drinking water transmission main, interceptor sewer, and in the project rayons and cities were uploaded on GPS units; this helped the social survey team to walk through the full length of the Project corridor. A draft stakeholder engagement plan guided the data collection and consultation process.

Considerations of the legal and policy framework are incorporated into the Resettlement Policy Framework and Land Acquisition paper prepared for SNWSSP of Azerbaijan, and relevant legislation of Azerbaijan to guide resettlement and land acquisition for all components of Second National Water Supply and Sanitation Project (SNWSSP) of Azerbaijan. Under the Project some unforeseen land acquisition is necessitated by the development of the final designs of the Project elements.”

The project corridor passes through an area that collectively sustains almost 60% of the population for water supply and sewerage systems in the project rayons, serving approximately 237,605

Total of 1845 hectares of land is surveyed, and more than 5,000 people are interviewed during the performance of SIARs. 27 hectares of land will be required for construction of Above Ground Ground Facilities as a part of the project in the project rayons. Pipeline RoW will occupy approximately 1790 hectares of land including city streets.

 

To minimize permanent land acquisition and project social impacts the following proposals/measures are adopted in consultation with the Project Affected People (PAPs), community leaders and municipalities along the project corridors, rayon officials and AWM OJSC.

  • Adoption of a shared corridor within the ROW of the village connection roads, intercity highways, and open irrigation channel to reduce the overall area to be cleared for construction by the project.
  • Careful siting of all above ground facilities and access roads to place them wherever possible on state or municipal land rather than privately owned land.
  • Siting of all above ground facilities to limit length of access roads.
  • Restriction of Use and Way Leave principles that are consistent with the regulations in Azerbaijan Land Code Article 54.4, and Azerbaijan Civil Code Article 255.4, will be applied for creating ROW of drinking water and sewage lines and establishing servitude on the affected lands, in consultation with the project affected land owners.
  • Use of international performance based standards to define areas around the pipeline to be subject to restrictions of use, rather than the far more restrictive SNIPs codes.

 

Due to the above measures taken to minimize the land acquisition and livelihood impacts the total land requirement has decreased at least 91% in Aghsu and Siyezen, and approximately 96% in Ismayilli and Shabran.

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