Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Water supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH)
Construction and material sourcing
General construction and material sourcing
Management of construction waste

Management of construction waste


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Sudden or progressive change in the environment adversely affects the lives or living conditions of people who may have been displaced from their origin. When environmental degradation occurs or sudden onset hazards impact vulnerable areas, people may be forced to move and relocate to areas that then require new infrastructure. The new infrastructure should be built to be resilient and strong enough to endure the impact of future natural hazards.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Excluded people hold the least power to influence decision-making whilst decisions regarding construction are usually made with people who hold significant relative power. Normally excluded people should be consulted regarding potential environmental impacts and regarding their personal needs and dependencies on the local environment.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural Resource Depletion
Soil erosion

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Air, water, soil pollution, damage to ecosystems, blockage of drainage channels and watercourses; increase in waste dumping and/or waste going to landfill; depletion of natural resources and increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Poor management of construction waste leads to significant environmental impacts.

Construction waste can cause air, water, and soil pollution; damage to ecosystems; blockage of drainage channels and watercourses; increase in waste dumping and/or waste going to landfill; depletion of natural resources and increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Construction waste can pose physical and chemical hazards to humans and the natural environment. It can also be a host for disease vectors.


Summary of environmental activities

Create a waste management plan.

Ensure procurement of sustainable high-quality durable materials.

Waste separation, reuse, and recycling.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Create a plan for the safe and environmentally sustainable management of construction waste. This should include careful planning of material quantities to reduce waste; improved construction techniques that reduce the creation of waste; careful planning to re-use construction waste and debris from the crisis; procurement of good quality materials from sustainable renewable sources; waste separation and re-use and recycling materials.

Potential construction waste should be preidentified, and an appropriate disposal management plan per waste stream should be developed. Appropriate disposal sites should be identified in consultation with local authorities and prohibit dumping in waterways and wetlands.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

K4D share lessons here: on flood risks, including the risk of flood from blocked drainage channels.

Floods damage infrastructure, homes, and livelihoods and also spread disease. Remediation can include covering drains and drain entry points to prevent debris from entering, as well as planting trees and shrubs to slow water flow, and water retention ponds or infiltration pits to reduce flooding.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

WASH procurement agreements ensure sustainable sourcing of construction materials

Construction methods are changed to reduce waste creation and increase the reuse of leftover materials

Construction waste is reduced, separated, and recycled

Activity status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Mitigation of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time to assess causes and develop plans to reduce waste from procurement, construction processes, and waste management.

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