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
General construction activities

WASH – General construction activities


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. ç

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
Noise pollution
Impact on mental health

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Noise, air, and dust pollution caused by construction activities.

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Dust, noise, and air pollution can pose health, comfort, and climatic concerns, as well as impact community relations. These can be caused by site clearance, materials delivery, excavation, construction, cutting, painting, etc.


Summary of environmental activities

Consult local communities and make appropriate adjustments.

Use environmentally sensitive construction methods.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Consult local communities – inform them of the planned activities, scale, timescale, work hours, and listen to and address their legitimate concerns for example by adjusting work hours or construction vehicle routes or avoiding noise at particular times of the day. Carry out construction activities in an environmentally sensitive way that eliminates or reduces air, water, soil pollution, or noise. Water spraying can be used to minimize dust, while vehicles should be well-maintained with idling avoided to minimize emissions.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

All over the world construction activities cause noise, air, and dust pollution. This can be significantly reduced through a few key techniques: dismantling rather than demolishing; internal demolition prior to external demolition (safely planned); breaking rather than smashing; wetting materials that are to be cut; covering dry soil to reduce dust spreading; erecting fences to reduce noise travel.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

Construction activities follow environmental standards

Activity status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Time to consult with communities and adjust activities.

Time to assess possible air, water, soil, noise pollution and amend methods to minimise or eliminate.

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