Protecting the environment and ensuring social sustainability
Located on the main course of the Ma River, the project covers three districts: Quan Hoa, Muong Lat (Thanh Hoa province), and Van Ho (Son La province). It is estimated that approximately 10,591 people, comprising 2,327 households, are affected by the project. Out of these, 565 households have been relocated.
Designed to have minimal environmental and social impacts in all construction and operation activities, the project will also contribute to the improvement of living conditions and the socio-economic development in the project area. To achieve this target, the project has set aside $28 million for programs to improve living conditions and livelihoods of those directly affected. Over $2 million of this amount is allocated for environmental protection programs, including the three nature reserves adjacent to the project area.
To prepare the resettlement, livelihoods and environmental programs, TSHPCo staff and various experts conducted rigorous consultations with villagers to learn their preferences and priorities to best meet the their needs.
A series of social, environmental and community relations programs have been set up to prepare for foreseeable and unforeseeable impacts of the project on the people affected. These include:
- The construction of infrastructure (roads, power supply, domestic water supply for households and irrigation, schools, public health stations, and housing) are included in programs to restore living standards and in resettlement programs.
- A community livelihoods improvement plan that piloted in 2012 and scaled-up in xxxx covers farming, animal husbandry, non-farming skills and market deveopment. Local people are provided trained in advanced animal husbandry, farming techniques, and at the same time, supplied with young animals, seedlings, veterinary medicine and pesticides. Local people are trained in managing household budgets, running a business, vocational skills and are helped in linking with potential employers.
- Forest and environment management program for the protection of nature reserves, rare species and biodiversity.
- Cultural resources management and protection program.
The careful considedration and planning for potential impacts and the creation of a sustainable environment for the whole project area is a precedent for future hydropower projects in the region.