PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Miklos Giterson welcomed a delegation from the World Bank this week. The reason behind the visit was the Emergency Debris Management project.
Giterson said on Wednesday, “This mission is about safeguards. Policies are essential to prevent and mitigate undue harm to people and their environment in any large project. When identifying and designing a project, safeguards help to assess the possible environmental and social risks and the impacts, positive or negative, associated with a development intervention.
“This Emergency Debris Management project, which mainly includes the fire suppression activities for both landfills, needs to ensure that we take the proper safeguards into consideration, as we have a responsibility to not negatively harm the environment or persons in the community as we seek to extinguish the underground fires.”
The World Bank delegation will be meeting with ministry counterparts, particularly of the Health VSA, VROMI and Justice ministries, while on-island. The team will be presenting the World Bank safeguards process. They will also visit the landfill site and surrounding areas, discuss stakeholder engagement and the consultation process, and meet with representatives of the community and non-governmental organisations working in the area.
“The meetings this week represent an escalation of this project. It goes without saying that we are all very concerned with the fires and smoke that have been coming from the landfill. We have implored the World Bank to move a little faster with us and our recovery projects. I am happy that the bank has taken up the challenge and that we are moving along in the right direction,” concluded Giterson.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/81753-world-bank-safeguards-team-on-working-visit