How is TSHP different from other dam projects?
The selection of Trung Son as the project site came as a result of a thorough evaluation and deliberation process. Among the four areas initially identified, Trung Son proved to be the location where there would be the least amount of social and environmental impacts, complying with the World Bank’s safeguard requirements and policies.
Project study and development
TSHP spent four years of rigorous preparation to implement the project. Impact assessment studies to identify potential risks were carried out, appropriate mitigation measures were proposed. Construction concerns, and other issues related to the environment, society, and health were given close attention. Commnunications plans and information campaigns were designed to ensure all those concerned are kept aware of developments and issues related to the project.
TSHP satisfies technical safety conditions following international standards. It also has added features to increase safety.
- An emergency spillway will protect the main dam and powerhouse in case of Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) with Q=31,059m3/s (the most severe flood which may occur). No other hydropower project in Vietnam with similar capacity currently includes this feature.
- A sluicing outlet will:
- Protect the main dam in case of large volume of sedimentation;
- Maintain the environmental flow (quantity, timing, and quality of water flows) during the closure of the diversion culvert or stopping operations of all four turbines for repairs, etc.;
- Lower the water level for repair service of the spillway surface, intake or re-embanking of emergency spillway when necessary.
- The main dam and spillway structures are designed to survive Class 8 earthquakes measuring 6.07 on the Richter scale. Maximum horizontal vibroshaking acceleration of the foundation is 232 cm/s2.
Each stage of the project implementation is being monitored by a Dam Safety Review Panel/ Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP) to ensure that the project meets the requirements of the World Bank Safeguard Policy OP4.37.
Monitoring and result evaluation procedure
The project has a robust, multi-layer monitoring and evaluation framework consisting of the following:
- A Dam Safety Review Panel/Project Technical Advisory Panel (PTAP) that advises on technical construction, operations, and dam safety issues.
- A Panel of Environmental and Social Experts (POE) that advises on environmental and social issues. It is also involved in the independent grievance process.
- Independent monitoring consultants (IMC) review activities by both contractors and TSHPCo and report independently to TSHPCo and the World Bank.
- Regular supervision by World Bank staff in the form of site visits and management and technical missions.
Social and environmental impact mitigation programs
A budget of $28 million has been allocated for the improvement of the lives and livelihoods of people affected by the project and for environment protection.
Typical environmental and social programs include:
- Restoring living standards and resettling the people affected
- Improving community livelihoods
- Protecting public health by training health workers and raising awareness in the communities, improving commune health centers, purchasing equipment and medicines, monitoring and evaluation of epidemics
- Managing and protecting forests and the environment, preserving rare species and biodiversity (such as the tiger preservation plan, for instance)
- Managing and protecting physical cultural resources such as the preservation of ancient tombs and the relocation of ancient artifacts to museums
- Developing water quality models and improving the management of reservoir water quality
- Managing the construction of workers’ camps
- Performing environmental and social cumulative impact assessments, and solutions to minimize upstream and downstream impact on the Ma River
- Monitoring changes and producing guides for fish breeding and fishing, compensatory stocking
Settlement of the people’s grievances
TSHPCo has instituted a detailed plan and reporting system to ensure that all complaints and grievances—on the project itself, resettlement, bidding—anonymous or otherwise, are settled quickly and to the satisfaction of the complainant. These are settled through the following channels: People’s Committees from communal to provincial levels and the Independent Grievance Panel set up by TSHPCo.
TSHPCo established its own website at address http://www.trungsonhp.vn where information related to complaints and grievances settlements are publicly disclosed. The website is constantly updated.