Additional Social and Environmental Studies for Patuca III Project
The Government of Honduras received non-reimbursable Technical Cooperation funds from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to undertake the additional social and environmental studies for the Patuca III Hydro project. The main objective of the Technical Cooperation is to develop additional social and environmental studies and environmental management plan of the Patuca III Hydro Project in order to comply with the IDB´s social and environmental safeguard policies.
An Environmental and Socioeconomic Impact Assessment (ESIA) was done in 2004 by the Environmental Studies Unit (UEA) of the National Electricity Company (ENEE) and the UEA in 2005 conducted a survey of the residents affected by the project which was validated in 2006. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (SERNA) contributed with recommendations to the EIA through a process of information and consultation in the areas of Catacamas, Juticalpa and Patuca based on feasibility studies, including a number of stakeholders (mayors, councils, water boards, churches, NGOs and communities) to be affected by the construction of the dam. In January 2011, the Special Act on Regulation of Public Renewable Energy Projects became a key legal and institutional basis for implementation of hydropower projects on the river Patuca. The decree sanctioned the construction of the hydroelectric dam Patuca III “Yellow Stones”, Patuca II “Valencia” and Patuca IIA “Tarrosa” in the department of Olancho. Following the regulations of the decree an Assessment Commission was installed in June 2011, but the Resettlement Commission has not yet been established. Those affected that will have to leave their lands, crops and homes have been offered two alternatives; relocation to another site or cash compensation. The socialization process information and the purposes and conditions of the project has been slow, and among those affected there is still a considerable lack of knowledge of what will happen in the immediate future as a result of the project.
ORGUT carried out additional social studies for the Patuca III Project resulting in an updated Environmental and Socioeconomic Impact Assessment which includes socioeconomic characteristics of the population directly and indirectly affected by the project.