The rehabilitation of a large segment of the national M2 road will help improve connections between the population living in the rural areas with the neighboring communities; the access to rayonal centers and the capital of the country and also to the social infrastructure outside the project implementation areas. The rehabilitated road will improve road safety, reduce the transportation costs, in particular for the low-income population, like women, youth, the elderly, and will facilitate the access to social facilities. 14 social improvement projects were included in the final rehabilitation design for the communities located along the M2 road, i.e. construction of roads to schools, kindergartens, clinics, local markets, construction of bridges, provision of lighting in the villages crossed by the road to be rehabilitated. The cost of the social projects amounts to about 1.5 million USD, and they were elected and included in the design as requested by the people living in the area covered by the M2 project.
The construction works is expected to have an adverse impact, such as noise, difficult access to properties, challenging communication and even discontent of the local population with the construction works. To this end an Environment and Social Management Plan (ESMP) was developed to avoid or at least mitigate the above mentioned impacts of the construction works on the population. This plan describes mitigation, monitoring and institutional measures to be taken during project implementation to remove, offset or reduce the adverse impacts to acceptable levels. The current ESMP is a framework plan structured to provide guidance to the Contractor in developing the Contractor’s Environmental and Social Management Plan to be followed during construction works.
The social impact mitigation measures require the contractor to plan a schedule of construction works in order to avoid or mitigate the impact on properties, public health, prevent specific illnesses from spreading, prevent trafficking in persons, forced or child labor from happening as effects of the contractor’s construction works and to make sure that the project leads to achievement of social and gender equality objectives, which is the major concern of the Compact and Millennium Challenge Corporation.
To achieve these objectives the Contractor will develop and implement mitigation measures as part of its obligations under the ESMP, with particular focus on the social issues that will be divided into several components – Mobility and Access Facilitation Plan (MAFP), Social and Gender Plan (SGP), Trafficking in Persons Risk Management Plan (TIPP), HIV/AIDS Risk Management Plan.
The social and gender objectives of Contractor’(s) Social and Gender Plan (SGP) originates in the MCA Moldova Social and Gender Integration Plan. The Contractor will ensure efficient communication with the local community during the construction works by installing billboards in each village. The Contractor is encouraged to contribute to job-creation for local population, including youth and women for small scale supply contracts or services, while the announcements of jobs required will be posted on billboards. The contractor will carry out activities to raise the awareness of the road safety, will create pedestrian crossings and deliver training for trainers for the children going to the schools near the M2 road. The Contractor must deliver training for at least 50 school teachers and at least 2000 children and report on the training delivered. The Contractor will deliver training to local community on road safety for slow vehicles and animal-drawn carts.
The Compact is also concerned with the trafficking in persons which is defined as recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor and child labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.
The Contractor’s TIP Mitigation Plan must include, but not be limited to:
1. A signed statement that the Contractor certifies that it is not engaged in facilitating or allowing TIP, forced labor or child labor for the duration of the contract.
2. The Contractor will ensure that TIP will not be tolerated on the part of employees or contract workers and that engaging in TIP is cause for suspension or termination of employment or of the contract; accordingly Contractor should include this provision in the Employment Contracts.
3. Raising the level of awareness of employees, and sub-contractors and workers on the issue including providing information on the risk areas and the penalties for involvement in TIP. The raising of awareness will be ensured through training for the Contractor’s staff and sub-contractors. Contractor is required to report on the number of training sessions conducted and number of participants.
4. A requirement and system to report suspicions of TIP to relevant authorities and refer potential victims to the organizations providing assistance to the victims of trafficking in persons.
The execution project, part of which is ESMP, has been finalized and subjected to all the national screening procedures.
According to the ESMP of the project documents, all the above adverse impacts will be mitigated by best construction management practices and detailed mitigation measures. These mitigation measures have been included in the technical specifications of bid documents and are compulsory during the construction stage.
The supervision of ESMP implementation by contractors during the road construction phase will be done by an international company with solid experience in this area.
Besides the potential adverse impacts described in ESMP, the M2 road rehabilitation project will have long-term benefits. The rehabilitated M2 road will reduce the number of traffic jams, engine wear, damaging of cars and road accidents. Another positive impact is that road rehabilitation will increase the mobility of people and goods and, therefore, reduce the transportation costs. This will improve public health and extend the life of the road.