Monitoring of resettled communities

Post-resettlement monitoring of resettled community members of the former two villages of Berezovka and Bestau relocated to the town of Aksai and Araltal microregion at the end of 2017 is continuing.  One hundred detached houses in Araltal and two nine-storey apartment blocks in Aksai were built for resettling households.   The relocation was done in line with international best practice and involved substantial community engagement, which included an explanation of how the Grievance Procedure works.  In total, 465 households were resettled in the period of 2015-2018.

The monitoring helps receive feedback from resettled community members on how they are adapting to new places of residence and ensure the relevant support is given through actions taken by construction companies to comply with warranty obligations.  In line with the mentioned Grievance Procedure, 218 grievances were registered and all closed out in 2019 (Graph below). The grievances mainly related to minor construction defects in the new houses identified after moving in.  KPO directed all complaints to relevant construction companies responsible for the warranty maintenance.  The remedial works included repairs to the roofs, septic tanks in Araltal, installation of children playgrounds and heating meters at the entrances of the two nine-storey apartment buildings in microregion 10.

As part of livelihood restoration programme, the residents of Araltal requested KPO to provide additional volumes of black soil for their vegetable gardens.  In 2019, KPO supplied 375 trucks of black soil for the residents of Araltal to support the livelihood restoration and kitchen gardening activities on individual land plots.

Socially vulnerable community members, who moved to Aksai and Araltal, are in particular focus of attention in KPO’s monitoring process.  KPO Community Liaison Officer visits the elderly residents living alone in order to provide assistance in resolving their issues by social care workers, or help fix construction defects.  For example, KPO helped an elderly woman with registration at the Aksai Hospital and get a medical check-up.  The old lady was resettled from Berezovka in 2017 and lives alone in one of the flats in Aksai. KPO helped her get a medical nurse assigned to visit her at home for regular medical services.

Grievances and suggestions received from the local community in 2019

In accordance with Gas Odour Management Procedure for Communities Adjacent to the Karachaganak Field, during 2019 the Сompany worked to ensure all in-coming community grievances were timely addressed.  Once received, every grievance is thoroughly reviewed and responded through the KPO Community Liaison team.

In total, 17 gas odor related grievances were registered in 2019.  KPO Community Liaison Specialist held follow-up meetings with each individual who made the complaint, sharing information about the environmental monitoring and taken actions as part of the grievance investigation. Communities, who expressed a concern about the gas odor, were also briefed on KPO’s ongoing monitoring activities in accordance with the Operational Environmental Monitoring Programme.

KPO has deployed 18 Environmental Monitoring Stations (EMS) across the Karachaganak Field and around the Sanitary Protection Zone and two truck-mounted mobile EMS.  Please see more about KPO’s air quality monitoring in the Environmental Monitoring section.

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 (WWII), 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 Neighbourhood of Aksai.

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 Neighbourhood and a new school in Araltal for 300 pupils.