Hinda, Congo

Hinda Integrated Project: 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.

Guaranteeing access to drinking water and medical treatment

The project, which focuses on rural centers around the M’Boundi, Kouakouala, Zingali and Loufika fields, helps improve infrastructure – such as schools and health centers, the drilling of drinking-water wells and the creation of CATREP, a vocational training center for farmers. The project was split into two phases: one five-year period between 2010 and 2015; the other launched in 2017 and still under way.

During the first phase, we built infrastructure and set up basic services in the area. This included drinking-water wells, medical clinics, primary schools and training courses. In the second phase, we are primarily focused on working with associations, local groups, public authorities and institutions responsible for local development to promote youth entrepreneurship and start-ups, as well as strengthening management skills within the community. In addition, we run many health, environmental and education campaigns.

In December 2020 we delivered three potable water wells to the Tchitondi, Dionga and Bondi villages. With these new wells, the total number of potable water wells delivered by Eni Congo rises to 30, to benefit a population of around 20,000 people.

The three wells are powered by photovoltaic energy; the tanks’ capacity ranges from 10 to 12 m³, supplied with 1250W, 1980W and 3500W pumps, respectively. As of today, 22 public facilities, previously without access to water, are now connected to such wells.

The CATREP (Centre d’Appui Technique et de Ressources Professionnelles) project began in 2012 with the construction and restoration of agricultural buildings. In 2018, we introduced organic methods, started rearing poultry, goats, sheep and pigs within CATREP’s facilities and provided technical assistance.

The vegetable gardens created thanks to CATREP: photo gallery

Opening the centre has made it possible to have land cultivated organically and to train farmers specialised in sustainable agriculture and the breeding of farmyard animals.

Circularity initiatives in waste management

We have also launched a number of circular economy projects in the country to create value from waste, including the following:

  • The land-farming project, which involves the biodegradation of contaminated soils and oil-based cuttings, developed through the land-farming technique that was used to recover 1,700 tonnes of contaminated material in 2019 with a pilot project developed at the Tandour - Mbouma biological centre. This technology can be considered sustainable in that it allows the treated material to be reused in different environments that the previous ones (solidification and heat treatment) did not. The activity has also reduced the contaminated material recovery time from 6-10 months to 3-4 months.
  • The composting project, which concerns waste from company canteens and has enabled 120 tonnes of organic waste per year to be biodegraded thanks to the installation of two industrial composters. The compost produced in 2020 was sent to an organic farm that uses it as fertiliser. The project was also extended to other categories of household waste to improve the collection and sorting of the organic fraction of other types of waste, such as plastic waste. The extensive involvement of operational staff on the ground helped to raise a high level of awareness surrounding the project.
  • The plastics (PET and HDPE) recovery and reuse project is operated by a local supplier with the support of Versalis. This initiative involves recovering the plastic and reintroducing it into the production cycle rather than treating it as waste. Added to a certain amount of virgin plastic, it is transformed into consumer goods and textile fibre and redistributed in other forms on the local market.

Regenerating waste through the Hinda Integrated Project: gallery

Thanks to the circular economy, we are also reusing waste in the Republic of Congo to create value on the ground and minimise environmental impact by involving local stakeholders.

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). 

Il progetto CATREP in Congo

Interview with Honorine Ollombo, Chair of the NGO that’s part of CATREP

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How we are improving living conditions for communities near M'Boundi, Kouakouala, Zingali, Loufika.

The project has been a really interesting and powerful experience for me. I have been able to apply what I had learnt at a theoretical level in a hands-on way. Connecting with such a different culture has resulted in interesting networks, whether with colleagues or the local authorities and beneficiary communities.

Elena Bosoni - Project Manager at the Eni Hinda Integrated Project (phase 1, from 2012 to 2014)

Impact on the environment and communities

Community water wells are easing the burden of women and children who travel long distances every day to collect water and are helping to improve the health of local people. Responsibility for managing the wells has been handed over to Local Committees for Water Management, who have been tasked with supervising access to the wells, managing routine maintenance and ensuring the education of local people (in collaboration with NGOs) on the use of water, the importance of hygiene (with a focus on measures against Covid-19) and the conservation of local biodiversity.

Partnership

Thanks to Hinda, we have strengthened our co-operation and partnerships with local and national authorities, the local people, and local and international NGOs. The CATREP project – included in the National Development Plan 2018-2021 – has been recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and has the support of the World Food Programme (WFP). Several of the project’s initiatives have also been supported by NGOs such as Médecins d’Afrique and AVSI.

Safety comes first

Workplace safety is a fundamental principle that we share with employees, contract workers and local communities. For that reason, we implement all necessary measures to avoid accidents, including organisational models to assess and manage risk, training programs, skills development and the promotion of a culture of safety.