HKND Group starts pre-construction archaeological work for the Nicaragua Canal
On Nov 30, 2015, the launch ceremony of the pre-construction archaeological work for the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal was held in Managua. This archaeological work that HKND Group plans to carry out is based on the preliminary archaeological survey undertaken as part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) carried out by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), and is in part satisfaction of the ESIA recommendations and the project’s Archaeological Management Plan. In compliance with applicable Nicaraguan legislations and International Best Practices, Canal major works commencement is subject to the completion of pre-construction archaeological work along the proposed route. This event marked another significant progress since the Project was granted the Environmental Permit earlier this month.
The first worksite is located in Brito on the Pacific side of the West Canal. HKND Group will work together with the National University Council of Nicaragua, the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and the eminent Nicaraguan archaeologist and historian Dr. Patrick Werner on this exercise. Work commenced on site on the following day.
Bill Wild, Chief Project Advisor of HKND Group noted that as the concessionaire of the Canal, the company was responsible for identification, recording, and salvaging cultural relics within the construction area and handing them over to the Government of Nicaragua. HKND Group will work with the Government to establish museums to preserve and display important cultural heritage material.
During preparation of the Canal ESIA, ERM conducted extensive preliminary survey on the cultural heritage along the route, identified and evaluated sites of archeological value and collected more than 15,000 artifacts, among which more than 14,000 are pre-Columbian artifacts such as pottery sherds. ERM identified the sites that require more focused survey and suggested a number of sites for detailed excavation. The results of the preliminary archaeological survey are an important part of the ESIA. A report on this work together with the recovered artifacts was delivered to the Government of Nicaragua by HKND Group and ERM in February this year.
Ramona Rodriguez, rector of the UNAN-Managua said that the participation of UNAN scientists was very important for UNAN. “Working jointly with the government and the private enterprise, we are strengthening the expertise of our professionals and so that they make his knowledge available, and improving the standard of living of the people of Nicaragua, " said Rodriguez.
HKND Group places great importance on the preservation of Nicaragua’s cultural heritage because of its respect for the history, culture and traditions of the country. HKND Group is convinced that the Nicaragua Canal Project will bring great social benefits to the country, and the archaeological work will be an important component of the overall social benefit.