Through the management of the social impact of its projects, ACCIONA seeks to create positive opportunities in the communities it operates in. This is the case, for example, in the project to extend and optimize the Metesusto potable water treatment plant located in the rural area of Distraccion, in the Department of La Guajira (Colombia), and carried out by ACCIONA Construcción and ACCIONA Agua.
Right from the preliminary phases of the project and throughout its construction, a major effort has been made to manage the plant’s social impact, working very closely with the local community. To do this, characteristics have been studied, the positive and negative consequences of the actions to be carried out have been evaluated and a number of social measures have been implemented.
With the aim of getting local stakeholders involved and committed, information and communication activities have been carried out with the local people before, during and after the completion of the project.
These ‘Mechanisms of Suitable Attention to the Community’ have enabled fluid communications between the local community and ACCIONA’s personnel, which has created a high level of trust in the communities and greater knowledge of the objectives and scope of the project. This has facilitated efficient attention to impacts and has also led to the clarification of concerns and the communication of any change made to the progress of the works, and even direct contact with community leaders to ensure the satisfactory implementation of the project.
Among the social measures implemented, we would highlight the training processes on culture and water saving that have been provided to the entire community, together with advice on reducing the carbon footprint. From May 2016 to February 2018 one hundred and twenty-three training sessions were organized for 10,600 people thanks to the participation of teachers, the use of educational videos and didactic games about the environment.
Other initiatives have been carried out, such as awareness-creation seminars on the children’s self-care, aimed at parents, or the organization of an ecological march where emphasis was placed on the importance of practising sports and making the best use of free time.
As well as the social action programme, 70% of unskilled local labour was contracted in the area where the project had the greatest impact, which clearly represents a direct benefit for a large part of the community.
The project to extend and optimize the Metesusto potable water treatment plant was awarded to the joint venture created by ACCIONA Agua and ACCIONA Construcción by the Administration of La Guajira with a budget of 7.5 million dollars to offset the lack of potable water in the Guajira area.
This plant, financed with an international cooperation loan from the World Bank, supplies several municipalities in the area and provides a service to a population of more than 350,000.