Resettlement of the Berezovka and Bestau villages OG-12

In May 2015, the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Qazaqstan 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 Qazaqstan 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 Qazaqstan Oblast have led the resettlement of the two communities with the funding support provided by KPO.

The resettlement of Berezovka and Bestau villages 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 Qazaqstan. 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 department 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.