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J. Sc.

Evaluating Impacts
& Tech., Univ. of Ghazi Barotha
Peshawar, Hydropower
2011, 35 Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan
(1&2), 39-49.



Institute of Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Peshawar, 25120, Peshawar,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Dept. of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, 25120, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Centre for Disaster Preparedness and Management, University of Peshawar, 25120, Peshawar,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Abstract: This study is aimed to evaluate the long term impacts of Ghazi Barotha
Hydropower Project (GBHP) on the lives of the Project Affected Peoples (PAPs), since
their dislocation in 1995. Field surveys, focused group discussions, field observations
were used for the collection of primary data, while secondary data was collected from
project’s documents, past review studies of the project, reports of the donor agencies,
and government’s policy guideline about resettlement. Results of the study show that
the socio economic effects of the GBHP were not accurately predicted during project
planning and measures to rehabilitate PAPs of GHBP were not effective enough.
Amongst major areas, which were left unaddressed during project planning and
operation include alternative livelihood means in situation when major earning sources
of agriculture and livestock totally collapsed due to GBHP. The socio economic effects
together with other human use and quality of life values have caused sense of
disappointment amongst the re-settlers. Suggestions have been provided to mitigate the
key issues of the project hence making it an example of sustainable development in the
local as well as national context.

Key Words: Project affected people, resettlement, livelihood

Introduction economy fatally. In the prevailing situation,

it is not only hard to bring in foreign
Pakistan has been passing through an investors, but even the local industrialists
extraordinary energy crisis for about half a have started moving their units to other
decade and is becoming intolerable now. favorable countries in Asia. Asia is
Lopsided priorities, poor management and becoming very competitive, with
lack of accountability can be denoted as the neighboring countries like China,
reasons for shortage of energy in Pakistan Bangladesh and India providing every
(Iqbal, 2012). This demand is not only possible incentive to the foreign investors.
increasing in domestic sector but also In such situation Pakistan has to put every
commercial and industrial sectors. These
crises have started affecting the country’s
Zulfiqar Ali, Bushra Khan , Amir Nawaz Khan, Syed Ishfaq Ur Rehman

sincere effort to make way ahead of the Study Objectives

The hydropower potential in Objectives of the current study include
Pakistan is over 100,000 MW with the following:
identified sites of 55,000 (GoP, 2009). • To evaluate the long term impacts of
GBHP was a multi donor funded project GBHP on the lives of displaced
with major donors included; the World community including agricultural,
Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank livestock, housing, environment,
(ADB), Japanese Bank for International communication, aesthetics and others.
Cooperation, Kreditanstalt fuer
Wiederaufbau (KfW), European Investment • To post audit the implementation of the
Bank, and Islamic Development Bank, Resettlement Action Plan (RAP),
besides, WAPDA (WAPDA, 2010-11). The already approved under the provisions of
project was completed in 10 years costing the World Bank Operational Directive
US $2.2 billion (ADB, 2005). and the then draft National Resettlement
The Project caused affecting human • To use the new findings as
and natural environment since its initiation recommendations for planning
in 1995. WAPDA developed a hydropower projects of similar nature in
“Resettlement Action Plan (RAP)” (GBHP, future.
1994) under the then draft National
Resettlement Policy (GoP, 2002) to The paper is divided into 4 sections.
minimize the untoward effects of the This introduction is followed by the section
project. This also included development of a on an overview of GBHP and the
model village “Barotha Model Village background literature. Materials and
(BMV)” for the directPAPs i.e. displaced methods used for the collection of data are
peoples, who were resettled near the site of described in section 3, while Section 4
power complex of the GBHP (GBHP, provides main results and conclusion of the
1994). This village was supposed to be a study.
model one that would provide all basic
facilities to the PAPs including health care, Overview of GBHP and background
education, and drinking water besides their literature overview of GBHP
other compensations.
The work on GBHP was started in
Statistics available at the completion 1995. The project diverts water from the
of eight-year of GBHP reveals that the Indus River at Ghazi (few kilometers (Km)
project contributed about 53 billion units downstream of Tarbela dam) to a 52 km
(53 billion kWh) of electricity to the power channel. This channel transports
national grid, registering revenues of Rs. water to a power complex with an installed
226.5 billion to the national exchequer capacity of 1450 megawatt (MW) at
(Daily Times, 2011). Barotha, Attock. The detailed layout of the
project is provided in Figure 1. GBHP is a
run-of-the-river project; with least

Evaluating Impacts of Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan

environmental and social impacts. It important and significant contribution to

consists of three major components human development, and the benefits
including a barrage at Ghazi, a 52 km derived from them have been considerable”.
channel from Ghazi to Barotha and a power Hydropower, thus meets the basic
complex at Barotha (ADB, 2005). requirements necessary for economic and
Generation of hydropower to support social development. In countries, where a
the increasing demand of electricity in vast amount of development still lies ahead,
Pakistan through approach that is opportunities often existing for renewable
environment friendly and socially feasible energy sources should be exploited. The
(with least environmental and resettlement technically most advanced and economical
impacts) was the main objective of the source of renewable energy is hydropower
GBHP. This would also neutralize the (ICOLD, 1999).
higher cost of thermal power generation
(ADB, 2005; Pakistan Hydro Consultant, The environmental impacts
1994). associated with reservoirs / dams projects
vary from project to project and depend
Literature Review mainly on the site of the project rather than
its size. The environmental impacts are also
World Commission on Dams was dependent on resources present at the site.
established in April, 1997 in Switzerland in Based on the site, the impacts can usually be
a workshop supported by IUCN-World observed on; (1) Physical Resources, (2)
Bank for the stern impacts of large Ecological Resources, (3) Human Use
reservoirs. The Commission started working Values and (4) Quality of Life Values (Ali,
in May 1998 and assessed around 1000 1993). Derban (1984) has evaluated the
dams with varying degrees of intensity and a impacts arising due to resettlement,
comprehensive global survey of 125 dams alteration in the ecosystem and different
all over the world (WCD, 2000). Some 1.7 water born diseases in Ghana.
billion of these people live in "highly
stressed" water basins where problems with Tariq (1993) in a study on the
local food production and economic environmental impacts of Tarbela Dam in
development abound (Revenga, et al: 2000), Pakistan has identified the major beneficial
especially the acute pressure on fresh-water impacts of power generation, irrigation
resources in the arid regions that provide provisions, flood control and ground water
irrigation facility for expanding agricultural recharge along the periphery of the reservoir
practices (Mygatt 2006). Nearly 70 percent and downstream where previously the water
of global water withdrawals from rivers, table was too low. As a result of the
lakes, and aquifers are used for irrigation, recharge factor, those areas once lying
while the industry and households account barren have gotten its ground water
for 20 and 10 percent, respectively. recharged and the lands have become lush
green and productive. However, due to
The WCD (2000, p. 35) also recharging of the ground water, the project
acknowledges the benefits of large dams in also caused the associated problems of
the following words, “Dams have made an water logging and salinity in the closer

Zulfiqar Ali, Bushra Khan , Amir Nawaz Khan, Syed Ishfaq Ur Rehman

vicinity. These are mainly the areas that are international agencies, emphasizing on
devoid of adequate drainage system. The community involvement and consultation,
project, by dislocating about 96,000 persons taking into account adverse socio-cultural
caused the greatest human resettlement losses; and rehabilitation of vulnerable
issue. Whereas the minor environmental affected groups (punjablaws website). To
impacts discussed are effects on wildlife, ensure compliance with resettlement
navigation, climate, forests and fisheries. principles, the mechanism for making
valuation and applying various measures to
Policy considerations given in the ensure its fairness, a Project Non-
objective of the World Bank operational Governmental Organization (PNGO) called
directive regarding involuntary resettlement Ghazi Barotha Taraqiati Idara (GBTI) was
says that re-settlers should be provided with established. However, the principle of
sufficient investment resources and compensating the PAPs at replacement cost,
opportunities to share in project benefits and rehabilitation of the lost incomes and
besides compensation for their losses and livelihoods up to the pre -project level was
assistance in their efforts to improve their not achieved.
former living standards, and income earning
capacity. To ensure the economic and social Major activity in rehabilitation is the
viability of the relocated communities, income restoration program, aiming to
adequate resources should be allocated to develop certain measures for those PAPs, who
provide shelter, infrastructure (e.g., water are disadvantaged in terms of income
supply, feeder roads), and social services generation and employment. Long term
(e.g., schools, health care centers). strategies will aim to enable and improve
the PAPs standards of living. Both the land-
The resettlement plan should, where based and non-land-based economic
feasible, exploit new economic activities activities will be generated to provide a
made possible by the main investment sustained source of income over a longer
requiring the displacement. Vocational time-period. These would include: (i)
training, employment counseling, project-sponsored programs like regular
transportation to jobs, employment in the employment, training and providing various
main investment project or in resettlement inputs for income raising (ii) subsidized
activities, establishment of industries, inputs for agricultural and livestock
incentives for firms to locate in the area, production arranged by the proponents, for
credit and extension for small businesses or the first two or three years, or until the
reservoir aquaculture, and preference in desired income level are restored (iii)
public sector employment should all be establishing linkages to the national socio-
considered where appropriate. (World Bank, economic uplift and employment generation
1990) programs in the project area and ( iv)
initiatives by the NGOs and DFIs like rural
Sections 6-10 of Land Acquisition credit or micro –enterprises etc. (GoP,
Act, 1894 relating to acquisition, valuation, 2002).
entitlements and compensation are Model villages including the under
inconsistent to meet resettlement principles discussion Barotha Model Village
and requirements of foreign donors and supposedly having all basic facilities (water

Evaluating Impacts of Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan

supply, sewerage, electricity, school, dislocated communities show large gap

dispensary, pacca i.e metaled roads, between the promises and the actual
playground for children, mosque, graveyard, situation on the ground. The communities /
community center and approach road) were households are dissatisfied with the project’s
developed and all PAPs were resettled there. services and infrastructure provided to them
However, studies carried out on the in the model villages (Anwar et al, 2006).
assessment of social impacts on these

Fig. 1: Detailed layout of GBHP

Source: Pakistan Hydro Consultants (1994)
Materials and Methods • Participants Observation
• General Observation
Both the primary as well as secondary • Reflective Probing
data were collected to meet the study On field, briefing by the GBTI technical
objectives. For primary data collection two representative was provided during the
separate teams (male and female) were GBHP visit at different sites. The
formed. A technical representative of the information collected was consolidated for
Ghazi Barotha Taraqiati Idara (GBTI) further analysis.
guided and facilitated the teams in the field.
The following participatory assessment Secondary data required for the study
techniques were adopted for collection of purpose was obtained from technical
information; reviews and project’s completion reports of
concerned donor agencies.
• Questionnaire Survey
• Focus Group Discussions
Zulfiqar Ali, Bushra Khan , Amir Nawaz Khan, Syed Ishfaq Ur Rehman

Results and Discussion to the absence of affordable irrigation

Based on the data collected in the
study, following are the major impacts of Livestock
GBHP on physical and human environment
in the study area. The livestock was a second larger
livelihood source after agriculture and
Agriculture Sector farming in the area and went parallel with
agricultural activities. Before the start of
The PAPs mostly associated with GBHP, the average livestock per house hold
agriculture were cultivating their own was 11. The livestock holding met a
agriculture land. Most of the families had family’s dairy products and meat demands,
huge land holding (Figure 2) and had high it was also a source of income. Because
grain yields. This high grain yield not only livestock rearing was a parallel activity of a
fed the entire family for a complete year but farming family, when the land holding
was also a major source of income (as they decreased it ultimately impacted their
were able to sell access grain in the local livestock holding, bringing the number
market). Besides farming, families were also down to an average of only 2 livestock per
able to meet their fuel wood demand from house hold (Fig. 3).This decrease in
agroforestry i.e. trees planted around their livestock has had some direct and indirect
fields. unwanted effects on PAPs e.g. Food intake
now has less dietary values, which impacted
Income restoration is an important the health of PAPs.
element in the draft National Resettlement
Policy, of 2002 (GoP, 2002). The field Housing and Living Conditions
research reflects that very little attention was
paid to this area. Agriculture was the major Our results indicate that there has
sector among the previous livelihood been an improvement in the overall housing
opportunities supporting the local population conditions with the implementation of the
for subsistence. It was one hard hit sector in project.
the project area. According to the project 86% of the total respondents were
documents 97% of the land acquired by the living in muddy (kacha) houses before the
project was cultivable. After the project, GBHP, and now almost the same percentage
there have been no apparent efforts of (i.e. 86%) of the total respondents are living
providing alternative livelihood in concrete (cemented) houses , while 7%
opportunities. The remaining agriculture each lived in mixed/ muddy type of houses
land is in bits and pieces and its productivity before and after the project(Fig. 4).
is not as much as it was before (mainly due


Evaluating Impacts of Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan

Fig. 2: Average agriculture land holding per family (kanals* we need to explain this unit in foot note)

Fig. 3: Average livestock per family

Street Condition and Drainage system complains about it, as these drains are less
beneficial and more problematic.
The project also contributed to the
construction of streets and sanitary drains in Security and Safety
the model villages, which were previously
either lacking or in poor condition. One People are now more concerned
drawback though (in this construction) was about their security than they were before.
that the level of constructed drains is higher According to them the security situation has
than the ground level and proper culverts are deteriorated after GBHP as people from
not constructed. Hence the community often different areas resettled here for
Zulfiqar Ali, Bushra Khan , Amir Nawaz Khan, Syed Ishfaq Ur Rehman

employment in the GBHP and are unknown possible in current socio economic
to the locals. While before the project, situation).
everybody lived in a strong social cohesion
did not allow anybody from outside to come Health
and commit robbery causing any lose or
damages to the local community. But now, Before the GBHP, the local
they are a little skeptical about their next community had to move to Attock city for
door neighbors. getting medication. After the GBHP, the
problem remains the same. It was promised
Electricity Conditions that the new village will be a model one and
along with other social services, a
Although, it was promised that the dispensary will be developed for quicker
PAPs will get free electricity from GBHP, relief in illness; hence a dispensary building
however, the promise never materialized. was constructed. However, it never
Policy considerations given in the objective operationalized and now after many years
of the World Bank operational directive the building is damaged and the funny thing
regarding involuntary resettlement also says is that the building is used for keeping
that “re-settlers should be provided with livestock by the local people.
sufficient investment resources and
opportunities to share in project benefits Water Supply
besides compensation for their losses and
assistance in their efforts to improve their In the GBHP, the PAPs were
former living standards”. Actual situation promised for water supply schemes as well.
of electricity is not different from other parts It was constructed but now it is abandoned
of the country. The project has less effect on due to repair and maintenance. Now people
the electricity status improvement in the have dig out their own wells and bores in
area. The increased load shedding and hiked their houses on their own expenses. Like the
prices of electricity has increased economic dispensary, the water scheme is also
burden on the local community. abandoned and the building is getting
eroded day by day.
Social Services and Facilities Education
Recreation and Aesthetics
As promised, two middle schools
(one for boys and one for girls) were A playground / park was part of the
constructed in the model village. These initial plan of Barotha Model Village. The
schools are probably the only social service land was demarcated for that purpose. But
they get in right status. The local the specified land was not properly
community seems satisfied with the developed as park or playground. Later on
education system here. However, it was that land was used for the construction of
repeatedly highlighted that girls after the dispensary, water scheme, schools and
finishing middle school quit schooling due mosque buildings. Due to these
to lack of high school or college (these constructions, the remainder of the land was
facilities are only available in the nearby not sufficient for establishment of a public
Attock city and sending girls to that is not park. . This remaining open space is not
Evaluating Impacts of Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan

properly maintained. The drainage channels surrounding environment. So the space is

near the ground are clogged due to poor serving the reverse of recreation (i.e.
maintenance and stagnant water is a source nuisance) to the local community.
of mosquitoes and bad smell in the

Fig. 4: Housing type (before and after GBHP)

Communication education through two middle schools for

boys and girls, clean drinking water through
The road that connects the Barotha water supply scheme, play ground for
Model Village to Attock city is very narrow children, water for agriculture land and
and now damaged at various locations. In space for grave yard and funeral place).
public transport, small vehicles usually Unfortunately, most of the promises were
move between BMV and Attock city, but not fulfilled, or filled partially. Although
are less frequent (due to poor road they were compensated for the land
condition) and very uncomfortable. acquired from them for the project, they
This is the major route that is used for were not provided with water for irrigating
movement to the city for access to health their agricultural fields. They were provided
services, social interactions, schooling and with schools but the dispensary was never
market. operational. The water supply scheme was
erected but now abandoned and people are
Gap between Compensation Packages compelled to drill bores or dig wells in their
Promised and Implementation Promises homes with their own expenses

According to the local community, The project is all about the

at the start of the project, they were electricity generation. The PAPs before the
promised of various incentives including; project were promised that they will get free
market based compensation (value) for their electricity, but that never happened. In fact,
lands, employment in the GBHP, free the situation is getting worse day by day like
electricity, and the model village with all the other parts of the country.
basic necessities (including health services The most important aspect highlighted was
through construction of civil dispensary, the provision of alternative livelihood

Zulfiqar Ali, Bushra Khan , Amir Nawaz Khan, Syed Ishfaq Ur Rehman

opportunities. As PAPs were mostly relying field research reflects that very little
on agriculture and livestock for subsistence, attention was given to provision of
the huge amount of land conversion (from alternative livelihood. The previous
agriculture to the electric project livelihood opportunities including
development) directly affected their agriculture and livestock were
livelihood. Even the very little remaining severely damaged with the project.
agriculture land with the PAPs is not The PAPs were also not provided
productive due to unavailability of water. with job opportunities in the project.
The electric generator based irrigation is It is of utmost importance to re-
costly alternative and is not worth it. assess in detail the employment
The PAPs are extremely un-satisfied with situation of the affectees and develop
the consequences of the project. They state a comprehensive program for
that, “the project is beneficial for the provision of sustainable alternative
country but not for us. It has caused a lot of livelihood opportunities. This seems
unfavorable impacts on our lives.” primary responsibility of the
WAPDA and governing office of
Conclusions GBHP. Funding may be sorted out
with old donors / new or from the
The generation of electricity, income generated by GBHP.
especially hydroelectricity is need of the II. Agriculture was the main source of
time particularly in Pakistan. The analysis livelihood for PAPs. As most of the
establishes that assessment of the project for agriculture land was acquired for the
its post implementation impacts over the project, PAPs were left with little
lives of PAPs particularly income land to do economical farming after
generation was not accurately carried out. the GBHP. To use this small land
Community at Barotha Model Village holdings for productive agriculture,
expressed displeasure at the project irrigation water is crucial, which can
authorities for many reasons discussed be provided with very low cost by
above. sucking water from the seepage
The project is obviously very water from the project pond and
significant for the country in the prevailing pooled into a tank / small reservoir
energy crises situation, however, it is also and distributed to fields through
very vital to give immediate attention to the irrigation channels. This would help
issues highlighted in this study and take improve the productivity directly
actions in light of the suggestions given in from the land, and also help feeding
the proceeding section. livestock for subsistence. The waste
water coming out of seepage from
Suggestions the project’s pond will be utilized
economically in this manner.
I. Although, income restoration is an III. The dispensary if operationalized
important element in the WB would help reduce the health cost on
operational directives for involuntary the PAPs as they have to go far to
resettlement and GoP’s draft Attock city for smaller health issues.
National Resettlement Policy. The A local doctor or dispenser (if doctor
Evaluating Impacts of Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Project on Re-Settlers at Barotha Model Village, Attock, Pakistan

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