Value added through understanding the local social issues

Towards the end of 2007, SRK Consulting was commissioned to assist with the preparation of an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), as well as a suite of Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs) that would allow the client to secure funding from Equator Principles Financial Institutions. The project took place in the once prosperous Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo, which is an area renowned for its vast mineral wealth – particularly in copper and cobalt. Due to the country’s turbulent past, limited data on the local socioeconomic environment was available for use in the ESIA.

SRK, under the field leadership of Congolese-born Vuyo Matshikiza and supported by a local non-governmental organisation, Ecodev, undertook a household survey to record and understand the socioeconomic environment of the project area. Ten local field workers specifically trained for this task completed 560 questionnaires by randomly sampling households in 10 villages over a period of 14 days. The questionnaires provided invaluable primary data on the social aspects of life in the villages surrounding the town of Kolwezi. This data, together with the information gathered at a series of information gathering meetings, formed a comprehensive social baseline from which the impact assessment was undertaken.

Vuyo Matshikiza:

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