Evaluation of the quality of environmental impact statements in Ethiopia

Heliyon. 2022 Dec 19;8(12):e12438. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e12438. eCollection 2022 Dec.

ABSTRACT

Environmental impact statement (EIS) is rarely assessed for its quality and thus, poses challenges for rectifying the compromised qualities at earlier time. The objective of the study was to evaluate the quality of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted to Addis Ababa Environmental Protection and Green Development Commission (AAEPGDC) in year 2020 and 2021. The article has evaluated the quality of 16 EIS for the year 2020 and 15 for the year 2021 using the modified Lee and Colley review package. The findings revealed that each of the evaluation criteria has shown various degrees of qualities with overall assessment that falls under satisfactory score of 66% (sum of grade A-C). Impact identification & description, monitoring plan and project setting and description were the most described sections of the EIS while baseline assessment and establishment, scoping, alternate consideration were otherwise. Inadequate baseline description was found resulting in compromising impact prediction. Though adverse impact identification and description was the best dealt with section of the EIS, it overlooked describing how impacts affect receptors, undermined occupation health & safety and disregarded project affected people by luring them with job opportunity. In terms of magnitude, positive impacts were presented pretty well than adverse impacts. How long the duration of the impacts last were not dealt by 39%, as to whether the impact were reversible or not were not dealt by 42% and the extent of coverage of the impacts were not discussed by 39% of the reviewed EIS. Energy use was one of the least described EIS section (64.5% score) with gaps of failing to recommend renewable energy for best energy use practices. Comparisons of the EIS quality for 2020 and 2021 using Mann-Whitney U-test had shown that there was no quality difference between them. We thus, generally recommend multi-stage review processes at least every five years to enhance the overall quality of the EIS.

PMID:36643316 | PMC:PMC9834754 | DOI:10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e12438

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