Hmawbi Agricultural Inputs Complex: Community Engagement
Myanma Awba Group recognises that sustainable development is integral to the long-term viability and success of its business, and the recently-announced establishment of the Hmawbi Agricultural Inputs Complex (HAIC) will strictly adhere to the same high standards to which the group holds itself accountable.
Drawing on a wealth of IFC expertise, Myanma Awba Group was careful to follow all steps of the approval process when submitting the HAIC initiative through the MIC and other official bodies. This included a rigorous series of Impact Assessment Reports by third party companies with relevant experience. The Group has made many of these documents available for download via the awba-group.com website. Of particular interest for many stakeholders is the Environmental Impact Assessment and Health Impact Assessment documents which can be viewed in full form online.
Myanma Awba Group has continued to conduct a series of local community engagement events since 2015 designed to improve understanding about the new facility, job creation activities, as well as the benefits it can bring to the local community and Myanmar’s farming population alike. The most recent event was held on Sunday, 18th December in Hmawbi, attended by over 160 people and opened by Parliamentary Representatives U Aung Win and U Than Aung. Further details on this event can be found on the group website as well as the Facebook page, which has over 100,000 followers.
A more robust governance system to address grievances has also been implemented with the establishment of the HAIC Monitoring Committee which acts as a community ‘watchdog’ for the new initiative. With powers to implement a ‘surprise’ inspection of the plant and access to relevant health and safety reports, the Committee also provides a transparent mechanism whereby residents and stakeholders can submit concerns or grievances about the HAIC. The Committee structure, objectives and functions can also be downloaded from the Group website.
Electronic methods of grievance raising are also available via Facebook group, Google Group and Forum feature on the awba-group.com website. We encourage all stakeholders to share their opinions.
Cognisant of the fact that the technologies to be employed in HAIC are new to Myanmar and technical in nature, Group representatives have highlighted the benefits of the effluent and air emissions equipment and made further information available to interested stakeholders via the group website. In this material, the Group highlights how the facilities adhere to both the World Bank and Myanmar Ministry of Environment Standards.
Further details on HAIC’s Emergency Response and Plan have also been shared online in both English and Burmese.
Myanma Awba Group believes that transparent business is good business and we welcome open cooperation with all stakeholders in order to make the HAIC initiative a success for the community, the company and our farming population alike. We recognise our ongoing responsibility to the environment and are committed to bringing in the most up-to-date technology and ways of working in order to minimise the impact on our neighbours and surroundings.