~ NRPB: Relocating people ‘complex process’ ~
PHILIPSBURG--The National Recovery Programme Bureau (NRPB), with the support of a consulting firm, is developing a Resettlement Action Plan to ensure that all projects scheduled to improve the dump are done safely and in compliance with World Bank safeguard requirements.
NRPB told The Daily Herald that moving people from the affected area adjacent to the dump to another location (resettlement) is a complex process that requires detailed planning prior to implementation.
“It is the first time that relocation of a community happens in St. Maarten and legal and policy frameworks had to be diligently reviewed and partially prepared,” NRPB said when asked why it was taking so long to relocate residents in the vicinity of the dump to start fixing the country’s waste management issues.
“Furthermore, resettlement includes a large number of stakeholders. Involvement and consultation with these stakeholders is crucial, but time consuming.”
Stakeholders include government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), project-affected persons, and host community members. “Above all, the resettlement process requires that the outcome respects the dignity and human rights of the impacted community members. In this, a ‘do no harm’ principle is leading.”
A final draft of the Resettlement Action Plan is currently under revision by NRPB and the World Bank. The plan development required collecting socio-economic information about the community to be resettled and developing an inventory of affected assets. This information is compiled to calculate compensation packages.
The next steps are to continue dialogue with affected persons and to finalise the Resettlement Action Plan, which will be made public after clearance from the World Bank. Implementation can start after such clearance, NRPB said.