Gabon - Road Programme Environmental Impact Assessment - ESIA Summary

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                      TABLE OF CONTENTS




1.    INTRODUCTION

2.    DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMME

3.    DESCRII’TION OF THE AREA OF IMPACT

4.    POTENTIAL IMPACT AND MITIGATING MEASURES

5.    ALTERNATIVES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF
      THE PROGRAMME                              12

6.    SENSITIZATION CONCERNING THE ENVIRONMENT   12

7.    SOCIO-CULTURAL HERITAGE AND VALUES         12

8.    COMPENSATION FOR EXPRORIATION              13

9.    ASSESSMENT OF THE COST OF MITIGATING
      MEASURES                                   13

10.   CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS            14

11.   REFERENCES                                 14
1.     INTRODUCTION

1.1     This environmental impact assessment concerns upgrading of the existing
Fougamou-Mouila-NdendC and Lebamba-NdendC-Tchibanga road sections and
rehabilitation of the Gare Octra-Owendo and Port-Gentil-Mandorove roads.

1.2     All roadwork, regardless of the state (rehabilitation or upgrading), affects the
environment. The impact is more substantial where roads cross environmentally-
sensitive areas. Given the importance of the roads concerned their location and their
direct or induced impacts, this programme is classified in category I. An
environmental impact assessment has thus been conducted and this paper presents its
principal conclusions.

1.3     Gabon has prepared an environmental code (No. 16/93 of August 1993,
concerning protection and improvement of the environment). Article 67 of this code
requires an environmental impact study for all industrial, agricultural, urban, rural,
mining or other work, construction or modifications undertaken by the public
authorities and public and private companies which, because of their scale or,
ecological implications, &-e likely to harm the environment.

1.4    It is in conformity with the said law and in keeping with the Bank’s
environmental policy concerning categorization that the impact assessment has been
conducted. This study aims to identify, foresee and evaluate the environmental
impacts of the roadworks envisaged under the programme, and also. propose means of
attenuating the adverse effects while maximizing the environmental benefits. To that
end, the study has included the following sectoral analyses:

       9       data collected on the environmental and socio-economic conditions
               and institutional, legislative and administrative frameworks; in addition
               to direct consultation of government technical services,. economic
               operators, local authorities, NGOs and representatives of communities
               along the roads concerned;

       ii)     evaluation of the various significant environmental impacts;

       iii)    identification of measures intended to reduce negative impacts;

       iv)     estimate of approximate cost of measures; and

       4       identification of a unit to carry out appropriate remedial measures
               aimed at reducing the negative effects, and the environmental audit.

The two consulting firms have undertaken appreciable sitework. There have been
several visits to the sites and the population has generally been involved, through its
representatives in villages and district headquarters.
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1.5     The impact assessment includes the description of the programme, a definition
of the environment in the study area, identification and description of the impacts on
the environment, proposal of mitigating measures, estimates of {he cost of measures
and the unit to monitor their implementation.

1.6    The two firms conducting the study are:                    !
                                                                  I/

9      Bureau Etude, Conseils et Assistance Technique (BECAT] for the Port-Gentil-
       Mandorove et Gare Octra-Owendo sections; and          /
                                                             I
ii)    SociCtC Nouvelle Gabonaise d’Etude (SNGE) for. the Fougamou-Mouila-
       NdendC and Lebamba-Ndende-Tchibanga sections.          ,

1.7    The consultants have respected the relevant European legislation (Directive
85/3J/CEE), the guidelines on impact assessment studies prepared by the World Bank
and the African Development Bank, and also Gabonese legisl&ion (No. 16/93 du
26/08/93) concerning protection and improvement of the environment.

2.     DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMME
                                                                   I,
2.1    The road programme comprises:

            upgrading of the Fougamou-Mouila-Ndende road (17F km)
            upgrading of the Lebamba-NdendC-Tchibanga road (124 km)
            rehabilitation and renovation of the Port-Gentil-Mandorove road (33 km)
            rehabilitation and renovation of Gare Octra-Owendo express way
            (2x5 km)

2.2     These rehabilitation or upgrading works will concern a conventional surfaced
carriageway, 9 metres wide with two shoulders, each one metre wide, and also water
and drainage structures and posting of road signs. The two sections of the expressway
will be surfaced with asphaltic concrete; each will be 7.60 m with 2.50 m wide
shoulders, and double surface dressing and will also require adjustment of a platform
and appropriate water and drainage structures. Particular attention will be paid to the
following works:

       - crossroads with multiple junctions,                      I
                                                                  I
       - crossroads with asymmetrical connecting roads,
       - T junctions with asymmetrical connecting roads,          I
       - level crossings for the secondary feeder roads,          I
       - transfer of networks (electricity, water, telephone), an{
       - replanting in areas affected by the project.             I
2.3    The roads concerned by the programme are currently in a deplorable state.
They become dangerous during the rainy season (9 months a year) and access to the
towns and markets is extremely difficult. With tarred roads, not only would road
accidents be reduced, but also travel time, making journeys more comfortable and
pleasant. Vehicle breakdowns as well as repair and maintenance costs would also be        -
reduced. The upgrading and rehabilitation of these roads will hoist economic activity
and trade with neighbouring countries.                           /
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3.        DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA OF IMPACT

3.1       The Fougamou-Mouila-NdendC and Lebamba-Ndende-Tchibanga sections.

3.1.1     The impact area covers three characteristic morphological types:

                 The Ngounie valley, with altitudes varying from 30 to 100 m, from
                 Fougamou to NdendC;

                 The Ikoundou hills, with gritty and rugged- relief, between Nyali and
                 Tchibanga; and

                 The Piedmont of the Chaillu crystalline massive, with the typical
                 hummocky relief, found towards Lebamba, at an altitude of 200-300m.

The greater part of the impact area, lying to the east of the Ikoundou massive, is
drained by the Ngounie, the main tributary of the left bank of the Ogooue.

3.1.2 Fougamou-Mouila Road

        Within the vast Ngounie Plain, the road traverses generally flat country,
undulating in certain areas and covered with savannahs. It crosses several tributaries
of the Ngounie:

3.1.3 NdendC-Tchibanaa Road

     The NdendC-Nyali section (30 km) represents the transition between the NgouniC
Plain and the eastern counterforts of the Ikoundou. The road runs through a slightly
undulating area, predominantly covered by savannahs. This section crosses two
tributaries of the Ngounie: The Douba and the Outsakou.

        The Nyali-tchibanga road (60 km) runs through the rugged area of Ikoudou,
which is under forest. The abrupt contact of this region and the Ngounie Plains to the
east and the Nyanga to the west has given rise to major ramps and deviations in
certain sections. It crosses only one river: the Moukalaba Gauzi, a tributary of the
Nyanga.

3.1.4 Ndende-Lebamba Road

            The 34 km road runs through a hilly and quite undulating region, with the
     result that the layout shows marked deviations and a rapid succession of high and
     low points.
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3.1.5   The major geological formations encountered in the study iirea are:

               ,The calcareous/alkaline granite of the Mayoumbe I lassive;

                The higher schistous/calcareous series of the kar tic plain of Mouila
                and Ndende; and

                The sandy shale series of the Ikoundou mountains.

3.1.5 The soil of the impact area is the ferralitic type. It re:         llts from rapid and
intense alteration of rocks that are typical of the inter-tropical hur   id climate zone. In
the schistous/cal,careous series of the NgouniC and Nyanga rive          : basins, the soil is
predominantly of the indurated feralitic type, whereas the sand           shale series of the
Ikoundou has deep layers of renewed iron-bearing soil.

3.1.6   The study area has two distinct seasons with the following characteristics:

                a rainy season from mid-September to the end of uiay, and

                a dry season from early June to mid-September.           ~

The average temperature is 26°C.

3.1.7   The two main vegetation types in the study are:

                savannahs which tend to be shrubby in the hyanga basin and
                herbaceous in the Ngounie basin, and are intersperded with forests; and

                the mountain forest zone, which is rather dense and1 exuberant.

In the Savannah, the graminaceous species are predominant.               I

3.1.9 The tropical evergreen forest consistently covers the Ikoundou ranges. This is
an area of exceptional richness and diversity with 4,000 to 5,000 common varieties,
20% of which are endemic. The best-known wood obtained from the Gabon’s forest
is the OkoumC, used for plywood production. At present, Gaboh’s forest as a plant
canopy does not seem threatened. It should however be noted that exploitation
necessarily brings about degradation from primary to secondary forest. Lumbering is
carried out by three categories of operators:

                Industrial logging companies that are subsidiaries of European groups,
                Private companies formed by association of private foreign and
                national parties, and
                individual loggers (nationals).

The study area has two sawmills.

1.      Mandilou - capacity below 5,000 m*, and

2.      Mouila - capacity between 5,000 and 10,000 m2.
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3.1.10 The wildlife is generally abundant and varied. In the Savannah environment,
the classical wildlife includes ungulates-buffalos and antelopes and panthers. Lions
were once found here but have now disappeared. The forest is a sanctuary for large
mammals such as elephants, panthers and primates. The country’s gorilla population
is estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000, with an average density of 0.18 per km2 of
potential inhabitants. Several species are under protection in Gabon; others are partly
protected and a hunting quota is in force. Hunting is still an important source of
protein today, while poaching represents an appreciable source of income. Hunting is
regulated. The Fougamou, Nyali and Tchibanga regions are particularly rich in game.
Fishing is a secondary activity.

3.1.11 According to 1993 data, Ngounie Province has 77,781 inhabitants and Nyanga
has 39,430. The percentages of males/females under 45 years are even. Above that
age, the female population is larger. In 1993, the working population was clearly
dominated by women. Women hold 63% (Ngounie) and 60% (Nyanga) of jobs in
these rural areas. Most of the villages have a school with a solid structure. All major
villages have a dispensary. Ngounie Province has under two doctors for 10,000
inhabitants, while Nyanga does not even have one for 10,000. Mouila, Ndende.
Tchibanga and Lebamba have water supply system with standpipes. The rural water
supply programmes have equipped wells with manual pumps, The prevalent diseases
are malaria, filiarosis and bilharziosis. Diarrhoeic conditions remain the leading
causes of infant mortality. Aids and sexually transmitted diseases (STM) are a serious
problem in Gabon.

3.1.12 Agriculture and Livestock breeding are of particular importance in the study
area. Forest agriculture is carried out by slash and burn procedures. Farmers clear
one or several parcels of land each year. Livestock breeding is carried out along the
roads, especially starting from Mouila. It is well developed in the Tchibanga area.
Once the subsistence needs are met, most of the villages have surpluses for random
sale. Plantain and cassava sellers obtain their supplies from all the villages, primarily
between Ndende and Tchibanga, and send them to Libreville markets.

3.2   Port-Gentil-Mandorove and Gare Octra-Owendo Roads

3.2.1 The projects are situated in the Estuaire and Ogooue Maritime provinces. The
Port-Gentil-Mandorove project area is characterized by low-lying coastal areas which
are vast marshlands consisting of mangrove swamps and sandy strips parallel to the
coast. The bottom surfaces of these low areas are partly coated with silt and clay
which is not very permeable. On the other hand, the sandy strips are permeable. The
project area starts from the inner suburbs of Port-Gentil and ends on the banks of a
branch of the OgoouC called the Animba. The Gare Octra-Owendo project area is in
the peripheries of Libreville. This road runs through the city’s port area and
represents for the entire country, a principal channel for land transportation of goods.
The sector is urbanized and industrial density is increasing considerably.

3.2.2 The natural environment of the project areas and the surroundings consists of
savannahs. These are characterized by grassland interspersed with copses.
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3.2.3 The population density is low along the Port-Gentil road and higher along the
Gare Octra-Owendo road. Significantly, 406,100 persons are concerned by the two
projects. The human population taken into account is in the towns and villages along
the roads. The population structure reflects a problem of migration of the workforce
towards the towns, which probably constitutes the greatest impediment for the
development of food crop farming. The lives of communitibs along the routes
surveyed are in most cases organized around the roads. The health, education, water
and electricity supply infrastructure are relatively well developed, especially at Port-
Gentil. In the project area, women engage in activities such 4s agriculture, house
cleaning, industry, trade, catering, administration, etc,          I

3.2.4 Food crop farming is practised extensively in the form of shifting cultivation
and slash/burn procedures. The produce is largely for family consumption, but there
is a small degree of marketing. Traditional hunting is very common in the area. It is
developed in the regions beyond Ogooue. Fishing, though artisanal, is very well
developed in the Mandorove Region.

3.2.5 The major pathologies in Gabon are linked with the humidity and water; they
are mainly malaria and bilharziosis.

3.2.6 There is no exploitation of forest resources in the project area. There is just a
wood port at Owendo, timber rafts near the Port-Gentil delta an/l a large number of
wood processing industries.
                                                               I
3.2.7 Port-Gentil is the focal point of petroleum exploitation and the principal
loading point for petroleum. The Sector has numerous operators! the most prominent
being Elf-Gabon and Shell-Gabon.

4.     POTENTIAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATING MEASURI&

        The study has identified the following environmental impacts of the project:

               the temporary impact;
               impacts linked with the realization and utilization of the roads; and
               the indirect and induced effects.

4.1     It should be noted that whatever perturbations arise darn the project are
reduced on account of the solution adopted, namely the upgrading and improvement
of the existing road. The relatively modest scale of the work (as dompared to outright
reconstruction or extensive modification) and the limited interference and
expropriation brought about by the project make it possible to stringently and
effectively regulate the consequences for the environment. The direct impact area
will be limited to the areas along the existing road, which are already greatly affected
from the human and natural standpoints by the existence of the roads. Specific
environmental impacts are likely to be manifested locally in the areas concerned by
the rectification of curves and deviation of the existing layouts.

4.2   The other sections will involve a dual carriageway and strengthening of the          -
Gare Octra-Owendo road, which already exists, and renovation of the Port-Gentil-
Mandorove road. The foreseeable impacts on the environment are not very
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        significant, since the work will consist in widening and improving the existing
        roadway. This will not entail major environmental impacts. The environmental
        impact will largely be noted in the last twenty kilometers of the Port-Gentil-
        Mandorove road, which is a new layout.

        4.3    The harmful effects have been identified and the proposed measures are
        presented in the table below:
                                                              8


         TABLEl: IMPACTS EXPECTED DURING THE EXECUTION OF WORKS AND
         CORRESPONDING MEASURES

         PROJECT ACTIVITIES                       POTENTIAL IMPACTS               PROPOSED MITIGATION MEASURES
FIhi.ng construction, there will be
  zarthworks, excavation, transporting of
                                            1.     Increase in the quantity
                                                  of solids in suspension
                                                                                1. Frequently water the area and reduce
                                                                                    periods of stockpiling
  materials and circulation of machinery.          intheairduringthe
                                                   dry season.

                                            2. The layout of the                2.   Construct temporary basins, decantations
                                                Hydrographical network and           and provide gutters, ditches and concrete
                                                the course of smaller                downpipes in the sector.
                                                bo$ies of water will be
                                                affected.
  Earthworks and preparation of road        Serious soil erosion actually       Reinforce earthworks with a layer of laterite.
  foundation.                               concerning only 60 km out of
                                            300 km.                             Cover the slopes with vegetation by
                                                                                hydroseeding of local herbaceous and shrub
                                                                                species.

                                                                             Project certain slopes with gabions and
                                                                             protect the bases of slopes with gabion
                                                                             mattresses, where underwashing is possible.
  Working of quarries and borrow pits.     Soil erosion                      Rehabilitate quarries and borrow pits with
                                                                             top soil and by restoring the plant cover.
                                                                             Regulate access.
  Transporting materials.                  Problems relating to circulation, The local authorities will determine the
                                           safety and adverse effects.       definitive itineraries and frequency _of
                                                                             circulation of trucks. Drivers will be trained
                                                                             in road safety and temporary signposts put up
                                                                             at strategic points.
  Disposal of excess materials, rubble and Impact on landscape, water This material will be placed in a regulated
  other debris.                            resources and visual amenities.   storage area and/or reutilized where possible.
  During maintenance of machinery, Water and soil pollution.                 Periodic maintenance of machinery to avoid
  spillage of used oil, hydrocarbons, etc.                                   leakage of lubricants, fuel collection and
                                                                             treatment of drained oil as required by
                                                                             authorities. All maintenance work (cleaning,
                                                                             draining of engines, etc), will be carried out
                                                                             in specially fitted areas. The ditches should
                                                                             be leakproof.
  Cut-offs resulting from rectification of Scenic and safety impacts.        Highlight areas around roads using embossed
  layouts.                                                                   fluorescent markings. In accordance with the
                                                                             technical feasibility studies, the cmsh barriers
                                                                             will be of wood. The cut-offs areas resulting
                                                                             from rectification of roads will be made into
                                                                             parking places with greenery and thus
                                                                             integrated into the natural scenery.
  Water resources                          Minimal and reversible impact. Put up structures, water installations and
                                           Limited duration. during the drain streams.
                                           works phase.
  Installation         of        temporary 1. Increase in poaching.           1. Sensitization of staff on problem of
  accommodation for site employees.                                                poaching and specific mention of this
                                                                                   offence in the contracts for recruitment
                                                                                   of employees.

                                             2.    Production of waste water.   2.   Installation of specific evacuation pipes
                                          3. Health problems, alcoholism     3.Provision of appropriate sanitary
                                           and MSTs.                           instAllations, particularly the provision
                                                                               of kg water and collection of
                                                                               rubbish and waste. The problems of
                                                                               alcoholism and MSTs will be addressed
                                                                               through a campaign for sensitization of
                                                                               employees.
                                          4. Keeping the camping sites.  4. Thelcontractor will include in the project
                                                                               a uclean site” programme, involving:
                                                                                     I
                                                                         - an undertaking to dispose of debris
                                                                         resulting from demolition only in clearly
                                                                         designated areas allocated for that purpose.
                                                                         - an undertaking to store all polluting
                                                                         materials and to transport and dispose of
                                                                         them in areas approved by the authorities.
                                                                         - an undertaking not to abandon any
                                                                         materials after the works are completed.
                                                                         - an undertaking to clean the camp sites after
                                                                         the works are completed.
Rectification of curves and construction Soil erosion and destruction of To control erosion and stabilize the
of the new layout. It should be noted vegetation. For the tropical foundation, certain measures (earthworks)
that, in most cases, the project consists forest in the Nyali-Tchibanga will be ?ndertaken. All trees to be maintained
in upgrading or rehabilitation of an (60 km) sector, clearing will will be identified and protected by fixing
existing road using the same layout, concern only an average of one wooden stakes. In the forest areas (Nyali-
except in specific areas such as hectare per kilometre, giving a Tchibanga) the gallery forests will be
mountains, where curves have to be total of approximately 60 ha of conserved as much as possible, by clearing
corrected and at Mandorove, where the forest. Everywhere else where only the’ strict minimum needed (width of
road runs through a savannah plain; the the road crosses the savannah lo-12mj. The specifications will clearly
vegetation (which is not dense) will be area, there is satisfactory indicate measures such as avoiding earthtills
cleared. The impact on the wildlife will sunshine and there will only be within 2 m of the trunks of these trees,
be insignificant, considering the project clearing along the edge of the avoiding clearing and excavation around
area.                                     road.                          their roots, and where appropriate, leaving an
                                                                         unsurfaced area of at least 4 m2 per tree
                                                                         around the roots.
During the site works.                     1. Minimal negative impact. 1. Construct access to housing (concrete
                                          Momentary disruption of links         slab’s across the ditches-ramps).
                                          between the settlements, the - Provide sidewalks in urban areas and near
                                          road and the land, and the schools.
                                          circulation of machinery and - Provide access for the communities around
                                          trucks affecting safety.        the road1
                                                                          -Provide! places for stores and small business.
                                                                          - Provide sidewalks for the roads under
                                                                             construction
                                                                          - Provide places for laundering ant’
                                                                          bathrooms destroyed during the works
                                                                          - Improle the areas around bridges to b
                                                                          constructecl, so as to facilitate access to water
                                                                          points
                                                                          -‘For the traBic problem, the measures wil.
                                                                          be ‘the same as recommended for thr
                                           2. Destruction of fences.      transporting of materials
                                                                          2. The fences destroyed will be restorec
                                                                          using lOfa1 materials and/or with vegetatior
                                           3. Inconvenience caused by     provided.
                                                noise.                    3. The noise will be temporary. All thr
                                                                           same, the works will be limited to norma
                                                                          working1 hours.
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     TABLE 2:         IMPACT DURING UTILIZATION OF THE ROADS AND
                      PROPOSED MTIGATMG MEASURES

     ;he taming and widening of the The deterioration of the living 1. Improve all the points of
     ,oad will have a significant conditions of the communities conflict                (junctions,       level
     :ffect on the lives of villages. around the project area and crossings, etc), by increasing
     The technical features of the those who operate along the and improving vertical and
     ,oad will allow for greater roads and the increased risk of horizontal road signs.
     ;peed.                           accidents.        The expected 2. Provide               speed       traps
                                      increase in speed on the roads nearing the urban
                                      will give rise to conflict and can 3. Change the ty-pe of
                                      lead to accidents.                  surfacing around              major
                                                                          roundabouts.
                                                                          4. ,Improve visibility at night
                                                                          in inhabited areas by using
                                                                          embossed                 fluorescent
                                                                          markings.
                                                                          5. Construct sidewalks.
                                                                          6. Provide safety fittings and
                                                                          facilities (railing on bridges and
                                                                          wooden crash barriers).
                                                                          The ministry concerned should,
                                                                          in collaboration with the
                                                                          competent                authorities,
                                                                          implement a programme of
                                                                          sensitization on road safety,
                                                                          targeting road users, school
                                                                          children      and      drivers      in
                                                                          particular.
     The road programme is likely to The negative impacts will be 1. Given the low population
     produce induced effects in the limited. The effects will be:         density       of     the      regions
     medium to long-term, with the 1. A significant increase in food concerned, clearing will be
     attendant      socioeconomical crop farming activities in marginal in comparison with the
     implications.                     landlocked or isolated areas.      vast savannah and forest areas.
                                      2. The increase in traffic and 2. Control poaching and
                                           therefore in potential clients Provide more forest guards in
                                           will favour hunting in the the field. The law concerning
                                           savannah area as well as the protection of wildlife should be
                                           forest area.                    stringently enforced.
                                                                           3. It is quite probable that the
                                      3. The access tracks and roads accesses created for the forest
                                           required       for      forest exploitation       activities     will
                                           exploitation would facilitate increase uncontrolled farming
                                           the arrival of people who and hunting activities. People
                                           will create pressure in the should be sensitized on the
                                           hunting and agriculture question of poaching and the
                                           sectors.                        imbalance any excess in thal
                                                                           regard can CiWSe.                The
                                                                           authorities should control all
                                                                           forest exploitation activities.
                                                                           particularly the degradation 01
                                                                           the forest environment.
                                             /
               11                            I




                                    4. All the development will be
4. The road programme will accord& to the integrated
bring about development of development plan. This plan
industrial    potential    (wood will be iprepared by experts in
industries,        agro-industrial the rele@t areas. A period of
extraction industries) petrol 10 months is envisaged for
stations, restaurants and bars, preparation (for the cost and
markets, etc, and also lead to details, see). The authorities
settlement     of     populations should ensure that all the
throughout the areas crossed by activities in the area are in
the roads.     The impacts are accordance with the existing
positive     but     uncontrolled            legislation
development could lead to 5                There is great potential
ecological and social imbalance. for tour&n. In the project area,
                                     the sites concerned are the
 5. The roads will run through hunting areas and nature
 the hunting areas and plant reserves south of Ndendt, the
 reserves south of Ndendt and Empress, Eugenia falls, ““Notre
 also create a huge potential for Dame de Trois Epis”“at Sindara,
 tourism.                            mount Dikaki, the “Paul du
                                     Chailu” mountain range, the
                                     Ngounie River, Lac Bleu
                                     Hospital in Bongolo, the
                                     Bongolo, underground galeries,
                                     etc. The benefits of the tourism
                                     sector &ill still be maximized if
                                     tourism development follows
                                     the integrated development plan
                                     The development of picnic and
                                     camping sites, natural reserves,
                                     etc is envisaged. The promotion
                                     of eco-tourism will give this
                                      sector renewed importance.
                                               /
                                                12




     5.     ALTERNATIVES FOR tMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAMME

     5.1     The upgrading of the existing road has been preferred to any solution
     involving a new road and is justified from the technical and economic standpoints.
     This solution makes it possible to greatly reduce the direct impact of the project on the
     environment, during the construction as well as the subsequent utilization of the
     roads, on the natural environment (limited adverse effects on natural vegetation,
     negligible destruction of biotopes) as well as human beings (very little impact on
     villages).

     5.2    The option to restore vegetation in the project area and areas bordering on the
     work sites and also the use of gabions, gabion mattresses and terramesh for protection
     and stabilization of the foundation will not only reduce the cost of protection but also
     allow for natural integration of the existing landscape, compatible with the
     undegraded environment.

     5.3    Rehabilitation of quarries and borrow pits with top soil and covering these
     areas with local vegetation and will improve the visual amenity, giving a more
     pleasant and serene environment.

     6.      SENSITIZATION CONCERNING THE ENVIRONMENT

_.           The study recommends the recruitment of an environmental expert. This
     expert will be a specialist from the Department of Environment. He will be seconded
     to the Road Programme Implementation Unit (RPIU) throughout the project
     implementation stage. This expert will take account of the respective wishes of the
     contractors, the Government, the forest guards and the surrounding community, so as
     to optimize the environmental measures on the basis of concerted views. The expert’s
     task will consist in:

                     assisting the consulting firms to prepare environmental specifications
                     indicating measures to be respected by bidding enterprises;

             -       verifying implementation of these measures during site work; and

             s
                     informing, listening to and harmonizing the viewpoints of the different
                     parties involved in the project, so as to ensure constant sensitization on
                     the environment and its translation into concrete action.

     For the benefit of children in particular, it will be necessary to carry out a road safety
     sensitization programme in schools.

     7.      SOCIO-CULTURAL HERITAGE AND VALUES

     7.1     The village of Modouma, south of Fougamou has a recently constructed -
     church with remarkable architecture. This building is of interest in terms of regional
     heritage and could be fully upgraded by the project through specific signposting.
                                                                                              *-.
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7.2     The villages generally have meeting areas for discussion prior to common
decisions. These are often marked by trees selected because of their height and the
shade they provide. These areas, often situated in the immediate vicinity of the road,
will be spared.                                              I
8.     COMPENSATION FOR EXPROPRIATION                            i

         The project area as delimited will have a very limited effect on crops. Out of
300 km of roads to be improved, only 1.1 hectares of crops will be destroyed along
the Ndende - Lebamba road. On the Gare Octra - Owendo section, certain properties
will “‘be expropriated. Only four dwellings will be destroyed. These are light
structures, made of wood or adobe. Only one is on the Ndende and Lebamba road,
the three others are outside this road reserve. However, to ensure road safety, they
will have to be moved. The programme provides for construction of new and modem
accommodation and the reaction of the population concerne)d will be very positive.
The area of land is estimated at 3000 m2. The houses are to be reconstructed in the
same environment and the occupants will be moved into them before the old ones are
destroyed. An amount of 170,000,000 F.CFA (210,000 UA) has been reserved for
compensation. The cost of expropriation and compensation to farmers has been
assessed and included in the cost of the measures. This procedure will be carried out
in accordance with the presidential decree on expropriation, T 000846/PR&IAER of
08 August 1979.                                                /

9.     ASSESSMENT OF THE COST OF MITIGATING h&ASURES

       The study served to identify measures required to mitigate the negative
impacts and recommended that they be included in the specifications. The costs of
these measures is as follows:

               Rehabilitation of the extraction areas ........... 1 h2,000,000 CFA.F
               Protection of water.............. .................. ! 9,450,OOO CFA.F
               Protection of vegetation ............................ ! .1,500,000 CFA.F
               Transporting of materials .......................... 11 ,OOO,OOO CFA.F
               Cleanliness of campsites ............................ /28,500,000 CFA.F
               Fences .............................................. 164,000,000 CFA.F
               Workers’ campsite .................................. b4,200,000 CFA.F
               Sensitization concerning the environment ...... 36,000,OOO CFA.F
               Sensitization on safety ............................. 21,000,OOO CFA.F
               Zoning plan .......................................... 14,000,OOO CFA.F
               Flow and quality of water ........................... 2,500,OOO CFA.F
               Landscape .......................................... i 57,500,OOO CFA.F
               Plant cover ........................................... 10,000,000CFA.F
               Safety ................................................ 378,20,000 CFA.F
               Living conditions and visual amenities .......... 397,000,OOO CFA.F
               Expropriation ........................................ 120,000,000 CFA.F
               Compensation for agriculture ........................ 50,000,OOO CFA.F     _
                                                14
l’


     The tax-free cost of these measures is estimated at CFA.F 1,558,250,000 (IJA 1.92
     million). This cost is taken into account in estimating the overall tax-free cost of the
     programme.

     10.    CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

     10.1 The environmental assessment studies are in conformity with the Bank’s
     directives concerning the environment for category 1 projects.

     10.2 With the implementation of the mitigating measures recommended and close
     follow-up by the implementation unit, the negative measures will without doubt be
     attenuated. In addition, the amount earmarked for mitigating the negative impacts
     will improve not only the physical environment but also the living conditions and the
     welfare of the populations.

     10.3 During appraisal of the programme, all the above points were examined and
     assessed to determine their pertinence and conformity with Bank rules and
     procedures. The conclusions have been incorporated in the appraisal report to be
     submitted to the Board.

     11.    REFERENCES

                    Les sols du Gabon (Pedogenese, Repartition et Amplitudes),
                    ORESTROM (1991);

                    Recensement general de la Population DGSEE - Ministere des
                    Finances, de l’,Economie, du Budget et des Participations, Charge de la
                    Privatisation (1993);

                    Le Gabon (EDICEF - EDIG), Geographic active (1993);

                    Carte Pedologique de reconnaissance l/200.000, feuille LIBREVILLE-
                    KANGO;

                    Rehabilitation et Amenagement de la Route Ndjole - Mitzic, Etude
                    d’Impact Environnemental(l996);

                    Textes Juridique sur la Protection des For&, de 1’Environnement et de
                    la Faune au Gabon (1995);

                    Le Code de l’Environnement, Gabon;

                    Guidelines for Environmental Assessment, African Development
                    Bank: (1992); and

                    Environmental Assessment Sourcebook, World Bank (1991).