>>>Community Health and Safety
Community Health and Safety 2021-06-22T03:46:24-04:00

Community Health and Safety

As good neighbors, and in line with the IFC performance standards, it is critical that we ensure that our operations, transportation activities and other business practices avoid unintended or adverse effects on the public. We follow all national and local health and safety regulations, strive to meet the expectations of nearby communities, and regularly engage and collaborate with local stakeholders on health and safety-related risk awareness and emergency preparedness.

There are natural links between public safety and effective community engagement. Through engagement, we work to understand public concerns and safety risks, evaluate steps we can take to reduce those risks, help clarify misunderstandings and dispel misinformation, and, when appropriate, collaborate with communities on initiatives that make all of us healthier and safer. Through these efforts, we contribute building a strong safety culture in the communities near our operating sites.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

One of the most important ways we protect both communities and our business is through effective emergency preparedness and response planning. At our sites, we develop plans, grounded in scenario/risk assessments, to protect the public, the environment and infrastructure in the event of a significant incident. We also implement actions to limit the severity of impacts, should an incident occur. We coordinate closely with Malagasy emergency responders in both preparedness and response activities, and we regularly conduct joint training exercises with them.

In accordance with international standards for industrial risk management, Ambatovy works in partnership with regional authorities to reinforce local capacity in emergency preparedness and response, including the National Office of Disaster Risk Management (BNGRC), the support in the establishment of Regional Committees for Industrial Risk Management (CRGRI) for the Atsinanana and Alaotra Mangoro Regions as well as the creation of Intervention Preparedness Plans (Plans de Préparation d’Intervention, PPI).

HIV/AIDS

Although Madagascar has a relatively low prevalence of AIDS (with an adult prevalence estimated at below 0.3%) and the country has fortunately thus far been able to escape the worst of the pandemic that has hit much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of an outbreak still remains a constant threat. HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness therefore remain an integral part of Ambatovy’s social commitment in the field of health. Our HIV/AIDS efforts target employees and communities using a participatory approach through collaboration with various external stakeholders.

Within the workplace, the Employee Peer Educator Program has been a key element in our HIV/ AIDS campaigns. Ambatovy also regularly takes part in World AIDS Day celebrations every year with activities and events to raise-awareness and support testing. In fact, our commitment to implementing the national policy on HIV/AIDS and fighting against stigma and discrimination in the workplace received an award from UNAIDS in 2014.

At the community level, we continue to support a network of 10 youth kiosks, renovated and constructed in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), that provides support and information to at-risk youth along the RN2. The kiosks are run by youth peer counsellors who are provided training in order to educate their peers on HIV/AIDS prevention.