News & Visuals

World Bank Board Discusses Panel’s Investigation Report on Togo WACARIP Project; Approves Management Action Plan


On September 14, 2023, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors discussed the Bank’s Inspection Panel’s Investigation Report of the Togo: West Africa Coastal Areas Resilience Investment Project (P162337), Additional Financing (P176313) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) (P092289).  The Board also approved Bank Management’s action plan to address the Panel’s Investigation Report findings.

In August 2021, community members from the Togolese coast submitted a Request for Inspection to the Panel. The Request for Inspection raised concerns about impacts in both the Combined Works area and the Emergency Works sites, on issues pertaining to alleged impacts on artisanal fishing and livelihoods, lack of Project-related information and consultation and the absence of a functioning grievance process. Additionally, the Requesters from the Combined Works area raised concerns about the consideration of Project alternatives and the Project-related involuntary resettlement process. Concerns at the Emergency Works site raised by the Requesters, related to restricted beach access for landing their boats as a result of the concrete pipes, which they claimed impeded their artisanal fishing activities and resulted in lost in income. Furthermore, when the Panel was in the field, community members from the Emergency Works area claimed they suffered personal injuries from their interaction with the broken pipes stranded on the beach, which they claimed also damaged their boats and nets. Community members from the Emergency Works area told the Panel that the contractor had not paid them their wages for some of the work performed during construction of the pipe walls.

The Panel issued an eligibility report after each of its two field visits that were conducted with regards to the Request. In its first eligibility Report and Recommendation (November 8, 2021) the Panel deferred by six months its recommendation on whether to investigate to allow time for the Project to implement the detailed time-bound actions provided by Management in its Response. On April 19, 2022, Management provided the Panel with an update on the implementation of its actions. The Panel acknowledged the positive steps taken by Management. However, following its second field visit to Togo in June 2022, the Panel remained concerned about the Bank’s compliance and recommended an investigation which the Board approved on June 23, 2022.

The heart of the Panel’s investigation deals with concerns of the artisanal fishing communities in both the Combined and Emergency Works. The Panel found that the Project’s insufficient understanding of artisanal fishing, its value chain and its specificities in particular beach seine fishing and the different demographics reliant on it caused many of the concerns raised in the Request. This lack of adequate understanding meant that the Project could not identify the full nature of the impact, and therefore did not have appropriate mitigation measures to address these impacts on the different groups. 

Furthermore the Panel found that the Bank’s classification of the Emergency Works as Category C meant that essentially no social and environmental impact assessment was conducted, beyond the initial screening document, which in turn meant inadequate identification of impact and therefore lack of mitigation measures. The Panel also found that no consideration was made on decommissioning of the pipes in the Emergency Area, despite this being considered a temporary solution. The Panel found that the Project did take steps to minimize resettlement by reducing its footprint. However, it also found that Management did not ensure that the Project had in place sufficient support to assist PAPs to improve their livelihoods and standards of living, or at least restore them. 

The Panel submitted its Investigation Report on April 20, 2023, and shared a copy with the Requesters so they could participate more effectively in the consultations on Management’s Action Plan, which is a document that is prepared by Management in response to the Panel’s findings.  Management has agreed with the Government of Togo and consulted with the affected communities on an Action Plan, which the Board approved. The Action Plan details how the Bank will work together with the Government of Togo and the communities to address the Panel’s findings. The Government of Togo has confirmed its commitment to implement the Action Plan while the World Bank will support and monitor its implementation.

Bank Management will submit annual progress reports on the implementation of the Board approved action plan, which will be published on the Panel’s Togo case page.  A World Bank press release in this regard can be found here.  Learn more about the case here.