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31 Oct 2016

Green Alternative, Both Ends

A study discusses disproportionate impact of Nenskra hydropower plant on women

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Case Study - Gender impacts of Nenskra hydro power plant , 31 October 2016

... It’s generally recognized that the hydro construction would create the work places mainly for men, rather for women. In case of Nenskra Dam the workforce benefits are even scarce. The Project sponsor does not promise any additional benefits to the community except of the jobs. After strikes in April-May 2016 it promised verbally the improvement of water supply system and predicts tourism development in parallel of the hydro construction. In communities, men have some expectations to be employed for physical works or as drivers.

During the preconstruction works only few people have been employed. However, for women only available jobs are cooks and/or cleaners in working camps. There is no illusion among the community that this short term work opportunities for next few years will change the socio-economic situation drastically. According to one of the women, “there may be some short term benefits in terms of increased incomes, employment or partially improved infrastructure, however, long-terms outcomes that includes impact on environment and health overrides those benefits”.

The women are concerned additionally with the problems of increased traffic on the roads and safety for children, as well as they start to fear problems what it would be if lots of the new people will enter community. ...ESIA document they saw does not address the issues of traffic and impact of worker’s camp on community... they have concerns that introduction of massive workforce in the villages will change the life of the communities drastically. ...

From the Gender Assessment perspective the Nenskra HPP ESIA is a perfect example of poor and gender blind planned project. The ESIA submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection, failed both to present the Svan profile, as well as lacks both social and gender assessment. ...

The Social Impact Assessment of the project failed to address the issues like impacts of involuntary resettlement, changes and needs of livelihood restoration, etc. It does not address the impacts, that are significant for women, elderly and other vulnerable groups, like increased prices of food and other services, increased workload for women in traditional land use, collection of plant and timber resources, domestic violence etc...