A Key Project Resettlement Project concerning two villages of Burlin District progresses as planned. ‘KazPravda’

We would like to remind you that such large-scale resettlement project was triggered by the completion of technical and economic evaluation with respect to the Karachaganak field and future expansion of sanitary protection zone (SPZ). In view of this, the Kazakh Government embarked on a resettlement program concerning the villages of Berezovka and Bestau which were to be affected due to expansion of the SPZ. The project is led by local authorities whereas Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. (KPO) assumed a role of Customer and sponsor for the project. With quality being of paramount importance for KPO during its business operations, the Consortium set the objective to execute the resettlement project scope in full compliance with Kazakh legislation and international standards. Consequently, each household who is about to move to a new location will be provided with comfortable living conditions that will be the same or exceed the conditions they used to have before. Meanwhile, the appointed commission comprising members of Burlin Akimat and Maslikhat, KPO and NGOs focuses on the demands and concerns of residents of Berezovka and Bestau villages. Some of them wanted to get apartments with all modern conveniences in Aksai which is the administrative centre of the district and the Karachaganak field whereas other residents preferred to preserve their rural way of life.

The resettlement project is split into two phases. First 82 socially vulnerable families moved into two blocks of apartments in Aksai at the first stage of the project. The new apartments have enough space which is equivalent to what they had when they lived in the countryside. The estimation was based on the fact that there would be 15 square meters per every member of the family. However, those households who had bigger houses will get larger dwellings. Families will also get separate apartments e.g. parents and their married children will live separately.

The first families who moved to new apartments are happy with the quality of the housing. The apartments are fitted with gas heaters and gas stoves, kitchen units. Balconies are glazed and the area adjacent to the blocks is well-developed. There is a school and a kindergarten nearby. The bulk of work as part of the phase II of the resettlement project is complete. Two more multi-storeyed buildings in Aksai and one hundred houses in Micro region Araltal were built which are as comfortable as the Aksai apartments built before. All the utility services are being installed: gas, power and water. In spring time access roads and pavements / walkways will be constructed.

‘We took into consideration that resettlement is a life-changing event for every family’, - explained Aldiyar Khalelov, Burlin District Akim, - ‘Therefore, a great amount of effort is made to address proposals, requests and concerns of people. There was a good many of them at the initial stage. However, during my close-out meeting it was found out that most of the concerns have been successfully dealt with. This project is under constant monitoring of WKO Akimat. The quality of workmanship which we consider to be a top priority is under constant monitoring by the residents themselves. The initiative group which was set up by the residents conducts regular construction site visits which I call key sites’.

373 households will be relocated as part of the phase II of the project including 349 from Berezovka and 24 from Bestau. According to Trevor Munday, KPO Relocation Project Controller, open day meeting was held involving international consultants. The purpose of these meetings was to clarify procedure of the resettlement, provision of care and support to the people who are about to move to new dwellings. 

There were several booklets prepared that contain exhaustive information regarding this matter. In addition to this, the commission keeps on collecting questions from residents to give comprehensive responses to whatever concerns may arise.

Only Kazakh companies are engaged in construction of new houses. Construction of 100 houses in Araltal sounds like construction of an entire micro region. 50 houses that have three rooms and 50 houses that have four rooms have been built there.

- ‘It is envisaged that families will be provided with compensation for construction of outbuildings on their garden plots’, - said Aldiyar Khalelov, - ‘by the way, it will be done at the current prices. One of the major problems that require full support is to assist with employment for the residents. Many of them have permanent employment in the field. Self-employed people who have small-scale and medium businesses will be offered land plots so that they could resume their business once resettled. We also considered a possibility for farmers to resume their day-to-day activities under new conditions. We also consider the wishes of those who are about to move. This task was given to the departments in charge of entrepreneurship and land relations. Construction of a school for 300 pupils is close to completion in Micro region Karachaganak-1 and a kindergarten for 320 kids in Araltal. This will help create new jobs as well’.

According to Fyodor Pavkin, Deputy Director of UralskStroyInvest, all kindergarten construction activities, procurement of furniture and equipment were completed. A technical supervisor was present on site at all times. Contractors also focus on high quality of workmanship, compliance with construction schedule and safety standards. Requirements of Construction Department and Department of Education are also taken in due consideration. The kindergarten is equipped with all the stuff required to teach and entertain kids.

Nothing is to be neglected in such an important matter, - said Aldiyar Khalelov. We considered a request of the residents to supply water for technical needs to their backyards in Araltal. Wells were drilled for this purpose. I believe that the resettlement will be completed within the target timeframe thus people will have time to get used to their new houses by September. The kindergarten is almost complete. We plan to give the final touch to the school till the 1st of August. We provide support in sending kids from Berezovka and Bestau for medical treatment and to health resorts. We set the goal to reach everyone and we are going to achieve it. Anyway, as we go there might be some alterations in our plans no matter how mature they are and therefore, the commission will be available to provide assistance to the residents even after they have resettled.  

Lyudmila Korina, West-Kazakhstan Oblast