025-i. Advice: studies for rehabilitation of Lac Sud - Tunisia

The NCEA advised in various stages of rehabilitation projects for the polluted Lac Sud in Tunisia. Starting from an EIA of insufficient quality, various steps were taken to improve environmental management in the projects.

Advisory reports and other documents

27 Jun 1996: Advisory review
Accompanying letter NL
Advice NL
Appendices Advice NL
31 Jul 1996: Terms of reference
Accompanying letter NL
Advice FR
Advice NL
Appendices Advice FR
Appendices Advice NL
22 May 1998: Other
Accompanying letter FR
Advice FR
Appendices Advice FR
27 May 1999: Other
Accompanying letter FR
Advice FR
Appendices Advice FR

Significant details

Lac Sud, south of Tunis, was seriously polluted. The Tunisian government decided to improve the situation and established SEPTS (Societé d’Etude et de Promotion de Tunis-Sud). This institute had the task to define actions to clean up the lake and surrounding area, and to draw up a program for urban and tourist development. SEPTS developed a number of proposals for different hydraulic interventions, for which the government of Tunisia started a tender procedure.

The Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation asked the NCEA to develop a review framework and use this to assess tender submissions (including EIA reports and other documents). In addition to this, it requested the NCEA to advise on Terms of Reference (ToR) in case the review results demand this.

In its advisory review the NCEA concluded a.o.: 

  • Essential information, such as a thorough analysis of the problem, is missing in the EIA;
  • No alternatives have been described;
  • The proposed project is not clearly defined;
  • The description of the impacts is qualitative only.

Additional material is therefore required on a large number of points. The NCEA integrated its review and additional Terms of Reference into one advice on Terms of Reference for drawing up an additional EIA. The NCEA's findings were taken into account in the assessments of project proposals for ORET funding, for which some sub-projects applied.

The tender procedure proved conclusive for one of the Dutch consortia. Subsequently, the NCEA was asked to review additional studies. In this advice (the second document on this page), the NCEA recommended a.o.:

  • To carry out a more in-depth study of the extent and distribution of the pollution and make appropriate modifications to the dredging plan;
  • To develop more environmentally friendly design alternatives for the northern and southern shores of the lake.

Later, the NCEA was asked to review the final plans. These showed that the dredging plan was optimized for environmental performance and that an ecologically more attractive design had been developed. In its advice (the third document on this page), the NCEA recommended to reconsider the terms of the construction contracts as to facilitate a more attractive landscaping of the southern shores of the lake.

In a reaction to the advisory review, the Tunisian competent authorities stated that revision of the terms of the contract was not feasible. More attractive landscaping of the southern shores could however be realized by, for instance, the creation of two islands. The competent authorities agreed to involve the NCEA in monitoring project execution.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Robert Beck
Eco Bijker
Arie Mol

Chair: Dick de Zeeuw
Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Proponent and Component Authority

Société d'Etudes et de Promotion de Tunis-Sud (SEPTS)

Component Authority
National Agency of Environment Protection (ANPE) - Tunisia
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Further details

Country: Tunisia

Last modified: 02 Apr 2019