Progetto Hinda in Congo

Hinda Integrated Project for the development of rural centres in Congo

Healthcare, education, access to water and agriculture are the priority sectors of the project launched for the Hinda district community.

We contribute to promoting the skills of local communities

The project, designed for the residents of the rural towns near the M’Boundi, Kouakouala, Zingali and Loufika oilfields, includes several infrastructural interventions, such as the creation and renovation of schools, healthcare facilities, drinking water wells and the CATREP (Centre d’Appui Technique et des Ressources Professionnelles), a professional training centre for farmers. The project was structured in four phases:

  • Phase 1: from 2012 to 2016
  • Phase 2: from 2017 to 2021
  • Transitory maintenance phase: 2022 
  • Phase 3: after 2023 

In the first phase, we built and renovated infrastructures and activated local basic services to provide medical care, primary education and courses. In the second phase, we involved local associations, groups, authorities and institutions involved in local development, to enhance young entrepreneurship and start-ups, and strengthen the community’s management skills. Moreover, we launched awareness-raising, and health, environmental and pedagogical education campaigns.
The number of solar-powered drinking water wells serving around 20,000 people has risen to 31, following the three inaugurated in the villages of Tchitondi, Dionga and Bondi in December 2020.
The tanks have a capacity between 10 and 12 cubic meters, and they are equipped with 1250, 1980 and 3500 W pumps. To this day, 22 public facilities that had no access to water are connected to these wells.

The CATREP project: what it is and what it involves

The CATREP project started in 2012, with the construction and renovation of farming and husbandry infrastructures. In 2017, we started organic farming activities, farm animal husbandry (poultry, goats, sheep and pigs) and provided technical support. In 2021, the activities of the second phase of the Hinda Integrated Project and the CATREP program continued, by applying innovative agronomic techniques to support the agri-biofeedstock Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2021. In the same year, within Eni Congo’s biofuel project, we started castor oil cultivation tests that produced considerable results.

In the next years, CATREP plans to sign memorandums of understanding with agricultural high schools in different areas of the country with the aim of welcoming students from different regions into the facility. Eni Congo, which intends to support this initiative, is responsible for building the accommodation.

Our waste management circularity initiatives

For several years now, we have been running a series of circular economy programmes aimed at generating value from waste, in particular the composting of waste from company canteens. 

The Landfarming Project consists in the biodegradation of contaminated crops and oil-based cuttings. È stato sviluppato through the landfarming technique which, in 2019, allowed us to recover 1,700 tons of contaminated material with a pilot project developed in the Tandour - Mbouma organic farming centre. If compared with previous methods (solidification and thermal treatment), this technology should be considered sustainable, as it allows reusing the materials treated in several applications. Furthermore, this activity helped to reduce contaminated material recovery times from 6-10 months to 3-4 months.

The composting project concerns waste from company canteens and, through the installation of two industrial composters, it allowed the biodegradation of 120 tons of organic waste per year. The compost produced was sent to an organic farm that uses it as fertiliser. Since it was launched in 2020, the project has also been extended to other categories of household waste with the aim of improving the collection and sorting of the organic fraction, separating it from other types of waste such as plastic waste. The broad involvement of local operational staff ensured a high degree of awareness of the programme.

The plastic (PET and HDPE) enhancement project is carried out by a local provider, with Versalis’ support. Through this initiative, plastic is recovered and reintroduced into the production cycle, instead of being handled as waste. After adding it to a portion of new plastic, it is transformed into consumables and textile fibre, and redistributed in other forms in the local market.

A project in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action programme with 17 goals aimed at the social and economic development of countries, regions and communities. As part of the Hinda project, our aims are to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (Goal 2), ensure the health and wellbeing of the population (Goal 3), provide professional training and lifelong learning for the community (Goal 4) and ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (Goal 6). Through the project we also are contributing to the fulfilment of goals that aim the eradication of all forms of poverty (Goal 1), to achieve gender equality (Goal 5) and to access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy (Goal 7). Lastly, our aims are to incentivise an inclusive and sustainable economic growth that will last over time (Goal 8), to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12) and strengthen the means of implementation and renewal of the global partnership for sustainable development (Goal 17). 

Impact on the environment and communities

Community water wells reduce the toil of women and children who travel long distances every day to collect water and help improve the health of the population. Their management has been left to local committees, who are responsible for:  

  • checking well access;
  • regulating routine maintenance;
  • ensuring that the population receive proper training, also in cooperation with the NGOs that operate there, on the use of water, the importance of hygiene and the preservation of local biodiversity.

Our alliances for the country’s development

The CATREP project, which is included in the 2018-2021 and 2022-2026 National Development Plans, is recognised by the Congolese Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries: several initiatives that are part of the programme have also been supported by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Médecins d'Afrique and AVSI.  

A cooperation agreement with the latter NGO is planned for 2023, with the aim of continuing and strengthening community development activities. Eni Congo will retain the management of infrastructure contracts. In the future, the involvement of authorities and other stakeholders at local level will be increasingly decisive. In particular, the role of the Kouilou Department authority will become an active part of the project from the perspective of sustainability.

In terms of governance, the beneficiary ministries involved in the project are the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulics, the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Literacy Education (MEPSA), the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, as they own the infrastructure in the areas of intervention.

Safety first

Safety in the workplace is an imperative value we want to share with our employees, contractors and local stakeholders. We are committed to eliminate accidents and protect the integrity of our assets. We consolidate a culture of safety through management and organization models, digital tools and communication initiatives. Our goal is strengthening the awareness of our people and their sense of responsibility toward themselves and others, by expanding HSE tools and digitalization to make corporate processes safer, more efficient and faster.