Since August 2018, UNMAS conducted Explosive Hazards Awareness (EHA) sessions for 203 humanitarian workers and 377 UN staff members. Since January 2019, UNMAS also delivered Risk Education (RE) sessions for 36,422 beneficiaries with the aim of raising awareness on explosive hazards and enable beneficiaries to adopt safe behaviours in their presence. In order to sustain the diffusion of RE messaging, UNMAS conducted a training of trainers for 14 volunteers of a civil society organisation.
During the reporting period, UNMAS also conducted 08 Non-Technical Surveys (NTS) in Bama, Ngala, Nganzai and Monguno. Following those NTS, 05 confirmed hazardous areas were identified, marked and referred to relevant authorities for clearance. Those NTS facilitated access to safe lands designated for the extension of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
As part of its initiative to strengthen national explosive hazards management capacities, UNMAS provided a First Responder training to 65 national security forces personnel. This “First Responder” training package aims at building local capacities to mitigate the risk of further injuries or death and attenuate the effect of explosive-related incidents. UNMAS also provided first aid and emergency trauma bag trainings to 28 Nigeria Police Force personnel in order to reinforce their capacity to assist civilians and colleagues affected by explosive-related incidents.
Within the Protection Cluster, the Mine Action Sub-Working Group has been reactivated, with the participation of national authorities, international NGOs, Community Based Organisations and UN partners, resulting in a better understanding of the impact of the threat, an improved coordination of the humanitarian mine action response and the development of interoperability. A Technical Mine Action working group has been established in order to develop the technical framework for Mine Action in Northeast Nigeria.
A comprehensive data collection and management system (IMSMA) is currently under development to collect, consolidate and analyse all available mine action related data and inform the humanitarian response. NTS tasks have been undertaken in several places in order to assess the actual contamination.
In 2019, and after ten years of violent conflict, explosive devices continue to put millions of people at risk of death and injuries in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. In 2018, more than 500 victims have been accounted for based on open source research. Although the full scope and scale of contamination by explosive hazards is unknown, it is assessed to be significant due to the important number of armed confrontations, with indications that as much as 20 percent of fired munitions did not explode on impact. The presence of unexploded or abandoned ammunition, ranging from small arms ammunition to air dropped bombs, does not only endanger the lives of the population and hampers the return to normal life, but also provides a readily available source of explosives to construct improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which further enhances the threat to communities.
UNMAS deployed in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria, in July 2018, at the request of the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator with the aim to:
- Provide technical assistance including coordination, planning, technical advice and support to the UN and Humanitarian Country Teams, affected population, national authorities and act as the coordinator for all UN mine action-related matters in the Northeast;
- •Plan for the wide-scale delivery of emergency risk reduction, survey, and clearance operations as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan.
- RISK AWARENESS - ONGOING
UNMAS delivers RE to affected population, including IDPs, host communities, returnees and refugees, as well as EHA training to UN personnel and the humanitarian community. Awareness material and radio messages are designed to the specific context of Northeast Nigeria. In addition to traditional RE, UNMAS is currently developing billboards and short movies to sensitize population on the risks posed by explosive hazards.
- SURVEY AND MARKING – PLANNED AND ONGOING
The Nigerian Army conducts clearance operations in accessible areas. However, with most of Borno State being inaccessible, it is difficult to clearly assess the level, type and extent of contamination. As a mitigation measure, UNMAS plans to conduct NTS in temporary accessible areas and in areas frequented by IDPs and host community members for socio-economic activities (e.g. firewood collection, land cultivation), as well as to mark suspected hazardous areas to prevent explosive incidents. UNMAS currently conducts NTS that will be used for expansion and building of new IOM managed IDP camps.
- NATIONAL CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT - ONGOING
The Nigerian Police Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams are currently working in Maiduguri and a limited number of towns only; however, it is expected that State institutions will redeploy in Borno’s secured areas, including police forces who will resume the responsibility of protecting civilians. In April 2019, UNMAS launched a training initiative to reinforce the national police’s existing EOD capacity to address the contamination posed by explosive hazards on the long-term, for sustaining peace. UNMAS is also delivering first responder courses to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigeria Police Force.
UNMAS was able to deploy to Nigeria and establish a start-up programme thanks to financial contributions from the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands and of South Korea as well as in-kind contributions of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. UNMAS is actively trying to mobilise additional resources to step up its emergency response with a focus on the protection of peoples, humanitarian and development workers.
UNMAS yearly financial requirement to implement a comprehensive mine action programme is estimated to USD 4.5 million and is reflected in the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria. A detailed programmatic concept note is available on request.
Updated: November 2019