Community grievance redress

KPO places major emphasis on dealing with grievances and concerns raised by the residents living in villages near the Karachaganak field.

KPO has a formal procedure in place for handling complaints related to the Venture’s operational activities. Any resident of the six Karachaganak neighbouring villages grouped in three rural districts — Priuralnyi, Zharsuat and Uspenovka, has the right to raise a complaint, either verbally to KPO Community Liaison Officer or in writing using dedicated forms and boxes installed in public places in those villages. The boxes are accessible to community members, if they wish to lodge a complaint. Community members may also contact a KPO Community Liaison Specialist by phone. The contact numbers of the specialist were communicated to local residents during community engagement activities and displayed on the KPO information boards installed in public places in those communities. KPO reviews all grievances/suggestions and undertakes action to resolve the issue.

KPO Grievance Procedure is also applied to the ex-residents of Berezovka and Bestau, who had been relocated to the town of Aksai and the suburban microregion of Araltal at the end of 2017. In Araltal the resettles were moved into 100 detached houses and in Aksai they received flats in several apartment blocks located in Karachaganak-1 Neighborhood. The residents were informed about the set process while the resettlement consultations took place. In total, 465 households were resettled in the period of 2015-2018.

Сurrently KPO carries out post-resettlement monitoring in both locations, including their livelihood restoration. 267 grievances were registered in 2018 predominantly related to minor defects in their new houses in Araltal and flats in Aksai. KPO forwarded all such grievances to construction companies responsible for the warranty maintenance. The remedial works included repairs to the roofs, septic tanks, installation of children playgrounds and heating meters at the entrances of the two 9-storey apartment buildings in Karachaganak-1 Neighborhood.

During the contacts and through the grievance mechanism, the residents of Araltal had requested KPO to provide additional volumes of soil for their vegetable gardens. KPO supplied 280 trucks of soil for the residents of Araltal in 2018 to support the livelihood restoration and kitchen gardening activities on the individual land plots.
Socially vulnerable community members, who moved to Aksai and Araltal are under special surveillance in KPO’s monitoring process. KPO Community Liaison Specialist visits the lonely elderly residents in order to provide assistance and resolve their issues including municipal social care or construction defects.

Grievances and suggestions from the local community in 2018

In 2018, 42 gas odor related grievances from the citizens of the villages near the Karachaganak Field were registered by KPO. In line with Gas Odour Management Procedure for Communities Adjacent to the Karachaganak Field, the Сompany had been working to ensure all in-coming community grievances are timely addressed. Once received, every grievances is thoroughly reviewed and responded through the KPO Community Liaison team.

A follow-up meeting was subsequently held with each individual who made the complaint, with Community Liaison Specialist sharing information as to what exact actions had been taken as part of the grievance investigation and the environmental monitoring details. Communities, who expressed a concern about the gas odor, were also briefed on KPO’s ongoing monitoring activities as part of Industrial Environmental Control Programme.

KPO conducts a full-scale monitoring of air quality, having deployed 18 Environmental Monitoring Stations (EMS) across the Karachaganak Field and around the Sanitary Protection Zone. Two truck-mounted mobile monitoring stations are used in addition when required. Details about the results of air samples and the concentration of gases in the air from the monitoring stations are described in the section «Preventing impacts on the communities».

Resettlement of the Berezovka and Bestau villages

In May 2015, the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan issued a Positive Conclusion on the expansion of the Sanitary Protection Zone around the Karachaganak field, in order to support the future development of the KPO operational facilities. On 28 July 2015, the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan adopted a Resolution on the resettlement of Berezovka and Bestau communities falling within the expanded Sanitary Protection zone.

The physical resettlement of Berezovka and Bestau communities due to the planned Karachaganak field development was successfully completed at the end of 2017. All the inhabitants either were resettled to Aksai and Araltal microregion at some 5 km distance from Aksai, or received compensation. Regional authorities of the West Kazakhstan Oblast have led the resettlement of the two communities with the funding support provided by KPO.

The resettlement was implemented in two phases. In phase 1, the vulnerable households who wished to move earlier were relocated at the end of 2015. During the selection process for the Phase 1 the priority was given to disabled people, participants of the Great Patriotic War (WW II), disabled people of categories 1 and 2, families with disabled children and persons suffering from severe forms of chronic diseases included into the list approved by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. By the end of 2015, 82 households from Berezovka and Bestau moved into two new multi-storey blocks of flats in Aksai.

Phase 2 was implemented in 2017. All remaining residents were given choices in this phase and moved either to detached houses with land plots in Araltal microregion, or to the 9-storey blocks of apartments in the Karachaganak-1 microregion of Aksai.

The process has been performed in accordance with the Final Production Sharing Agreement (FPSA), the RoK legislation, the IFC Performance Standard 5. To ensure compliance with the mentioned standards, independent consultants with the worldwide expertise on resettlement were involved from the very outset of the Project. The graph below presents the options selected by the resettled villagers.

Percentage of three options choice for Phase 2 resettlement

Throughout the resettlement process, the residents were provided with detailed information on the available resettlement options. The household owners and co-owners were invited for individual negotiations to discuss the proposed compensation options.

A Commission for Review of Residents Grievances and Applications was set up within Burlin District Akimat including representatives of the local authorities, public organisations, Maslikhat Deputies for Burlin District and KPO employees. The Commission reviewed the residents’ grievances concerning resettlement issues, including compensations, allocation of housing and individual circumstances of the households. Residents received the replies in writing.

To review the residents’ grievances related to resettlement, KPO applied its Community Grievance Procedure. It was widely communicated to resettling community members during a series of Open Days held in Berezovka and Bestau villages in 2015-2016. As part of the consultation campaign, printed leaflets with contact details of the Burlin District Akimat and the KPO Community Relations team were disseminated among community members. The residents had an opportunity to send applications and letters directly to the Burlin District Akimat. Burlin District Akimat representatives were available to meet with the resettling community members to discuss the resettlement issues.

To ensure participatory approach and inclusiveness, in 2016 a Residents’ Committee was set up comprising of residents from Berezovka and Bestau communities. In 2016-2017, the Residents’ Committee members made monthly trips to construction sites to oversee the construction process of the new houses in Aksai and Araltal. Each time they were escorted by KPO representatives to show the construction process and hear the residents’ opinion. Some of the comments and requests of the Residents’ Committee were taken into consideration and actions were taken to implement the residents’ requests. For example, new technical water wells were drilled in each resident’s yard in Araltal for their domestic needs. While the physical resettlement is completed, post resettlement monitoring and support are ongoing.

The social infrastructure provided for the resettled communities included a new kindergarten for 320 children in the Karachaganak-1 microregion and a new school in Araltal for 300 pupils.