Social and Environmental Support

i. Environmental Management
The program reviews all Environmental Impact Assessment (EIAs) of the project areas and evaluates the program conducted to foster environmental management program launched by the project alert the management for any environmental challenges during project implementation. The scope and objective of this program is to:

  • Support the Social Upliftment Program (SUP) and Helmo Sindhu Melamchi Valley Social Upliftment Program Implementation Committee (HSMVSUPIC) to carry out environment monitoring and environmental management, if any, under the SUP.
  • Report to Safe Guard Unit (SUG) chief and the MWSDB on the level of compliance with subproject-wide EMPs for subproject infrastructure works, and supplement the regular supervision by MWSDB, the panel of experts, and the funding
  • Through field visits, discussions with the stakeholders, monitoring activities within HSMVSUPIC, training feedback, and communication with MWSDB, recommend other possible environmental enhancements for the subproject.
  • Train and assist the MWSDB safeguard unit to ensure that the subproject is executed in an environment friendly and adheres to the EMP.
  • Prepare a monthly, quarterly and annual progress report with a summary of periodic and cumulative figures and data.
  • Undertake research and produce report on the impact of EMP activities on Melamchi valley and beyond.
  • Conduct third party monitoring of the activities as stipulated in the EMP for the environmental protection/mitigation activities provided for implementation by other agencies (contractors, CBO, User’s Group, and other local agencies).
  • Continue the environmental activities currently being carried out by EMP consultant such as, measuring of noise pollution, dust pollution, fish specimen monitoring, river discharge measurement and other laboratory works.

ii. Public Relation

  • Assisted MWSDB and HSMVSUPIC in establishing a proactive informative campaign and dialogue with concerned stakeholders in both the Melamchi and Kathmandu valleys.
  • Promote the benefits of the MWSP, targeting project-affected people, project stakeholders, the general public and non-government organization (NGOs); and support HSMVSUPIC’s public relation activities.
  • Proactively organize public relations events, in coordination with MWSDB, HSMVSUPIC and the PMC (i.e., mobilize media and engage in a fact-based debate with social activists to separate reality from myth regarding MWSP, its activities and intent).
  • Organize, at least once in three months, meeting with other stakeholders such as the local bodies, VDCs and NGOs in order to disseminate information and seek feedback as stipulated in the loan agreements and other documents for the project.
  • Assist in the development of PR skills to MWSDB’s staff by organizing training and capacity building programs. Prepare and submit a plan of such programs as part of the consultant’s inception report.
  • Promote understanding among local communities , project and affected people so that conflicts are lessened and the project is executed smoothly;
  • Identify and potential conflict area at an early stage and assist safeguard unit to take timely measures to avert it.
  • Create awareness on the role of HSMC and local communities in management and handling grievances and implementation of safeguard activities including social uplift programme.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual progress report with a summary of periodic and cumulative figures and data.
  • Carry out public relation campaign such as health camp, teachers training and capacity enhancement programme of local educational instructions etc.

iii. Land Acquisition and Re-settlement

  • Develop confidence in communities towards compensation packages (for outstanding land acquisition and resettlement activities) in construction works;
  • Assist the project and the SG unit in carrying out land acquisition, title transfer and recording in the asset register.
  • Implement RAP and update it as necessary.
  • Assist the grievance handling unit in resolving the claims, grievances and obstructions in the project implementation as a result of land acquisition and RAP activities.
  • Assist the SG unit and PR consultant on information dissemination through Website and various media
  • Prepare a monthly, quarterly and annual progress report with a summary of periodic and cumulative figures and data.
  • Assist the Panel of expert in conducting the third party monitoring.

iv. Social Upliftment Program (SUP)
The main aim of the SUP is to engage local participation in the mitigation of direct and indirect project impacts and to create a base for long-term development in project-affected VDCs, to improve quality of life. The selected sectors for SUP implementation are:
Buffer Zone – to lend support to preserving the Langtang National Park environment from outside population influx and other negative impacts in the project VDCs that include National park Buffer Zone areas (principally Helambu VDC and parts of Ichok and Kiul VDCs.

Health – to develop a SUP Health Plan for improving and upgrading existing health facilities and general health care in the Melamchi Valley, through the training of health personnel and the supply of basic medicines and equipment to local health service programs including construction of physical infrastructure.

Education – to assist in the development and upgrading of Melamchi Valley education through support to schools, including the building or upgrading of physical facilities, implementation of school sanitation programs, training of teachers, provision of grants and scholarships, and implementation of adult literacy programs including supply of basic education materials.

Income Generation/Community Development – to provide guidance and funding to promote income generation and community development activities through capacity building at the local level, under the pre-existing Local Governance Program (LGP), includes formation of COs and CMCs, seed grant capital, to form savings and credit groups, agriculture and livestock development programs etc.

Rural Electrification – to launch a rural electrification program in areas and communities peripheral to the 26.6km long Melamchi Valley main transmission (Sundraijal to Ambathan), following completion of the project tunnel works. (This component is not yet finalized.)

In order to fulfill the objective of SUP to the project affected areas (14VDCs of Sindhupalchowk and 5 VDCs of Kavre), the project has been facilitating the following activities through safeguard unit:

  • Assist with the formation and institutionalization of HSMVSUPIC and any similar local committees.
  • Enhance the capacity of HSMVSUPIC executive committee and secretariat to plan, execute manage and monitor social and environmental development program and resettlement action plans from ADB loan funds.
  • Update and improve the SUP implementation guidelines and implementation systems of social uplift program under the subproject.
  • Review and confirm the criteria for eligibility of affected people to benefit from the subproject and the criteria for the sub-component selection to ensure consistency and compliance with ADB safeguards requirements.
  • Review and confirm the criteria for the sub-component selection to ensure consistency and compliance with ADB safeguards requirements. And assist the Safeguards Unit and HSMVSUPIC in screening proposals in accordance with the said criteria.
  • Assist HSMVSUPIC and PMU in preparing annual budget which identifies SUP sub-components to be undertaken for the applicable year.
  • Establish a mechanism for public audits at least twice a year.
  • Support HSMVSUPIC in implementing the social development support program, and undertake capacity building of HSMVSUPIC through skills development and training.
  • Support HSMC in monitoring the progress and performance of the social development support program including compliance with Safeguards requirement.
  • Assist HSMVSUPIC and MWSDB in preparing policies for eater levy to be paid for water diversion and entering into an agreement between Kathmandy Valley’s authorized agency and Melamchi Valley people regarding the levy to be paid for water diversion.