Nachtigal, at the heart of sustainable development in Cameroon Support for People Affected by the Project (PAPs)

FAIR AND TRANSPARENT COMPENSATION FOR PROPERTY AND ASSETS IMPACTED BY THE PROJECT.

Since the beginning of its development, the Nachtigal Project’s stakeholders have aimed to reduce the impact of the Project on the local population.
An order On the Declaration of Public Utility (DUP) No. 001516/MINDCAF/SG/D1/D14 was signed on November 10, 2014, so as to prepare the legal transfer of property for public utility. The total DUP area is approximately 2,056 ha: 1,792 ha for the dam area, 19 ha for the Project Owner’s Owner’s housing Estate (CE) and 245 ha for the High Voltage Line).
Following this order, the demarcation activities and a census of goods and people were carried out between August 2015 and May 2016. These actions were carried out jointly by the Observation and Evaluation Commission (CCE), the Project team and the team of the International Consultant in charge of developing the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). 922 People Affected by the Project Persons (PAPs) were identified: 150 in 4 villages from the dam area, 208 from the CE area and 564 in 22 villages from the High Voltage Line area.
Two Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) were drawn up: one for the dam area and the other for the High Voltage Line area and the Owner’s housing Estate (links). In addition to assessing the extent to which individuals and households are affected by the loss of crops, limited access to fisheries resources, these plans describe:
– individual compensation measures in the form of land replacement, crop compensation, and support for local fisheries development
– compensatory measures to communities for the loss of community resources
– technical assistance measures for People affected by the Project to maintain or improve their quality of life.

People affected by the Project have been compensated for their property according to the most advantageous rate for the individual, following Cameroon standards, international best practices and the reality of market prices. Land and houses lost have been replaced. People affected by the Project have been compensated to the tune of more than XAF 3.7 billion. This amount includes compensation for loss of crops, clearing costs for new plots, and compensation for the acquisition of land for those who did not opt for land replacement.
In addition to these financial compensations, the people affected by the project benefit from improved cocoa plants, plantains, fruit trees, oil palms, cassava cuttings and improved corn seeds. Those with areas of less than 1,000 m2 received a lump sum of money for seeds (included in their payment). Land replacement was evaluated at three times the area surveyed for annual crops and 1.5 times the area surveyed for perennial crops.

LIMITED IMPACT ON HOUSING

The Project has done everything possible to limit the displacement of homes as much as possible. Only six families will be relocated.
The people concerned have chosen the location for the construction, have validated the plans for their new home and are being assisted in securing their land title.
Five of them have already moved into their new homes. The construction of the last resettlement house was completed in August 2021, enabling the sixth person concerned to relocate.

SUPPORTING AFFECTED FARMERS TO RESTORE OR IMPROVE THEIR AGRICULTURAL YIELD

The Project has set up an adapted and personalized support program, with the objective of restoring the livelihoods of farmers whose activity has been impacted.
Farmers in the Hydro Power Development area and the future CE who opted for land replacement benefited from nearly 180 ha of new land to continue their activities. Most of the farmers in the transmission line corridor continue their activities outside the DUP area due to the low impact in the area.
Improved of cocoa, plantains, fruit trees, oil palms and cassava cuttings seedlings and maize seeds were distributed to these farmers as well as those impacted in the HV Line corridor in order to improve their agricultural yield. In addition, NHPC agronomists and a local NGO are engaged in supporting them to restore and improve their livelihoods.

AN EXTENSIVE PROGRAM TO SUPPORT THE RETRAINING OF WORKERS IN THE SANAGA SAND SECTOR.

The construction of the dam will progressively reduce the transit of sand downstream of the structure, all the way to the Mbam and the Sanaga confluence. Workers in the traditional sand exploitation industry are impacted in the exercise of their activity.
In order to compensate for this impact, which affects nearly 1,000 people, NPHC has designed and is implementing an ambitious program to support those affected: the Sand Workers Livelihood Restoration Plan (PRME) (link). This plan is firmly in line with the best international standards for social matters. It is implemented in a transparent and concerted manner with local authorities, traditional authorities and representatives of the workers in the sector.

Restoring livelihoods is not just about restoring income levels: it is more about restoring the abilities of People Affected by the Project to optimize available resources and generate income and livelihoods that enable them to maintain or improve their living conditions.

– Identifying the assets and investments of People Affected by the Project

People Affected by the Project were surveyed and assets and investments inventoried between October 2016 and May 2017 (period of high quarry activity) to ensure the most comprehensive results possible. These surveys were conducted in the following manner:
i) Field verification of the actual operation of the quarries and the reality of the deposits (ensure that they were not opened specifically for the survey),
ii) Taking GPS coordinates of the quarries and functional deposits identified,
iii) Several visits to the same quarry to ensure that the people surveyed are indeed either depot managers (depot managers are counted as many times as their depots), sand workers (workers are counted only once, regardless of the quarry where they were surveyed), or even restorers and dugout canoe makers who were active during the surveys.

– Validating the lists and compensation amounts

Once the field surveys were finalized, the results were presented to all the people affected by the project at meetings held in each quarry district. Subsequently, validation committees were set up in each district to validate the census and inventory data and to ensure transparency and fairness. These committees were composed of the Divisional Officers, village chiefs, all quarry managers and a representative of the Project (NHPC). They validated the results of the surveys. These validations were subject to minutes signed by all the members of the validation committees.
The amounts of individual compensation for loss of activity and investments in the sand quarries were presented and validated by the validation committees in all the districts concerned: XAF 6,600,000/quarry, XAF 3,600,000/depot, XAF 1,800,000/diver, XAF 1,200,000/unloader, XAF 750,000/dugout maker and XAF 750,000/restorer.

– Compensation process

An intense sensitization campaign was carried out between 2017 and 2019 to inform Project Affected Persons and other stakeholders of the compensation process and payment dates.
Financial compensation for people affected by the construction work (149 people) was paid in 2018 for a total amount of XAF 365,980,000.
The people who will be impacted during the impoundment can benefit from an advance payment of compensation under the condition that they elaborate an Individual Reconversion Project, validated by NHPC. All compensation will be paid before the dam is impounded.

– Livelihood restoration support process

NHPC has put in place a process to support sand workers affected by the Project. A local NGO is accompanying People Affected by the Project in the livelihood restoration process, the main steps of which are: intake diagnosis, support for the development of Individual Reconversion Projects (PIR) and Individual Support Plan (PAI), training in financial management and entrepreneurship, technical training according to the project, and monitoring of the progress of the implementation of the Individual Reconversion Projects.

SUPPORT FOR FISHERMEN AND FISHMONGERS IN THE RELOCATION OF THEIR ACTIVITIES

Since 2016, the Nachtigal Project has been assisting volunteer fishermen affected by the dam construction work to relocate to alternative fishing areas and providing financial assistance for their acquisition of fishing equipment. The fishing section of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) provides for the accompaniment of all fishermen to new fishing techniques adapted to the future reservoir where a landing stage will be built, as well as financial assistance for the acquisition of new equipment.
In addition, vulnerable fishermen who are no longer able to fish have received financial assistance and have been accompanied by the Project in the development of a new income-generating activity, since 2020.
The Nachtigal Project is collaborating with MINEPIA (Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries) to monitor the resettlement of fishermen in the dam area and also to support, inform and sensitize the people affected by the Project. An agreement is being drawn up with MINEPIA to formalize this collaboration and to regulate fishing conditions in the reservoir.