Social Safeguard Management Programme in Dam Rehabilitation – A Case Study From Sri Lanka

Ajith Dolage, Sudharma Elakanda, P.D Leelaratne

Friday 3 july 2015

14:00 - 14:15h at Africa (level 0)

Themes: (T) Managing deltas, (ST) Adaptive delta management

Parallel session: 16K. Managing deltas - Adaptive delta management

The social safeguard management programme (SSMP) has become a key component of irrigation related rehabilitation projects. This paper reviews a renewed approach to SSMP that has been adopted in the rehabilitation of four reservoirs under the DSWRPP, where water releases had to be suspended temporarily to enable the rehabilitation. The SSMP is designed in such a way that livelihood support assistance is to be provided to 8,344 affected families in the downstream communities. The conduct of Social Impact Assessment and the development of Livelihood Support Assistance (LSA) plans are illustrated. The LSA has four plans namely Wage Assistance Plan, Alternative Crops Plan and Domestic Water Use Plan and Gender Action Plan. The affected people have contributed to the economy by working in rehabilitation work and saving foreign exchange by cultivating alternative crops. The paper presents ample evidence of the contentment and happiness of the farmers at the end of the programme, being responsible for development and implementation of the LSA plans. The main argument offered in this article is that the programmes to assess and mitigate socioeconomic impacts should primarily take into account the perspectives of the people without exclusively relying on specialists or technocrats.