ESMS for Ivory Coast water project

To help Ivory Coast supply water infrastructure for 95 rural communities, Ramboll developed an environmental and social management system (ESMS) to successfully meet international financial institution (IFI) standards.

Only 54% of Ivory Coast’s rural population has access to drinking water, according to the World Health Organisation. This means more than 5 million people lack access to basic resources.

To alleviate this problem, the Ivory Coast government appointed the developer Owini, as part of the wider Water for All initiative, to install groundwater extraction wells, water treatment compounds, water storage towers, and a network of pipelines to deliver water into people’s homes across 95 locations. To make this possible, the project had to qualify for the more than EUR €2 million loan allocated by international financial institutions (IFIs). Qualifying for the loan required having an environmental and social management system (ESMS) that meets local, national, and international development standards.

An ESMS sets out the policies, plans, and procedures to mitigate, manage and monitor a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts. The ESMS we developed can help Owini manage and monitor environmental and social impacts during the project construction phase to ensure control measures can be implemented effectively.

For monitoring efficiency, we developed this ESMS to be integrated into the company’s existing corporate management system. To ensure quality, we designed the ESMS in alignment with national regulations and international standards (including the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards and Equator Principles 4).

Water for all

Qualifying for funding from international financial institutions (IFIs), large scale infrastructure projects typically must meet national and international standards for environmental and social governance. Having management systems in place supports the ongoing project to demonstrate how it meets those standards.

“We’re always proud to work on projects that positively influence the health and well-being of communities. By providing an ESMS, we can help clients collect and analyse data so they can meet financial agreement standards and secure the funds needed to bring basic resources, like drinking water, to rural areas,” says Jesper Kildsgaard, Global Spearhead Director for Environment & Health at Ramboll.

“Everyone deserves access to clean water,” he emphasises.

Ramboll is well-placed to train and transfer knowledge of the ESMS to empower local teams to secure long-term success when the project is granted approval for future phases of development for the 95 communities under the umbrella of the Water for All initiative.

Partnerships for people and planet

Ramboll worked closely with Owini, a subsidiary to Mitrelli Group, to develop a project specific ESMS that builds on existing systems. As a result, the lenders were reassured the project can meet their standards to commence the construction phase.

“We hope to build on our success working with clients to develop ESMS for their infrastructure projects, continuing to meet sustainable development goals and provide much needed support for communities around the world,” says Ailish Enker, senior manager and team leader for impact assessments & project finance at Ramboll Netherlands.

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  • Andrew Snow

    Senior Managing Consultant

    +44 7714 973437

  • Ailish Catriona Enker

    Senior Managing Consultant

    D: +31 15 251 1511