Since its deployment in July 2018 at the request of the Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator, UNMAS Nigeria has provided critical life-saving assistance. The main objectives are to develop the national capacities to protect the civilians from the threats of mines and explosives, and to mitigate immediate threats for the vulnerable population in the North-east. The activities include coordination, risk reduction, victim assistance, nontechnical survey, and capacity development for the national and state authorities as well as a civil society organization.
As of 28th February 2023, UNMAS Nigeria has achieved the following outputs.
- Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE). EORE is designed to raise awareness on explosive hazards and enhance safe behaviour. UNMAS has coordinated EORE for 1,877,333 (408,518 men, 460,668 women, 536,725 boys and 471,422 girls) beneficiaries across northeast Nigeria. Since January 2019, a total of 55 staff of civil society organizations, 198 community volunteers, as well as 279 members of national and state authorities have benefited from EORE training-of-trainers conducted by UNMAS. The EORE ToT are conducted to enhance sustainability and national ownership. In addition, UNMAS conducted Explosive Ordnance Awareness (EOA) sessions for 1,793 humanitarian workers (including 462 UN staff members and 1,331 government officials including health care workers).
- Non-Technical Surveys (NTS) to enable safe movement and resettlement as well as safe access to livelihood, agriculture land and other socio-economic resources. UNMAS has coordinated 338 NTS in 19 LGAs in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states. 60 persons drawn from Government Institutions and CSOs received NTS training conducted by UNMAS.
- Improvised Explosive Ordnance (IED) Disposal, First Responder and Emergency Trauma Management training and equipment were delivered to strengthen national capacity to reduce the impact of explosive ordnance on conflict affected communities with a focus on IED and first aid assistance. 26 personnel of Nigeria Police Force (NPF) are now capable of IED disposal. From the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and NPF, 117 were trained as Explosive Hazard First Responders, 52 are now capable of conducting emergency trauma management and 195 are capable of providing emergency first aid. UNMAS also provided 20 kits of Emergency Trauma Bags to NPF personnel in order to reinforce their capacity to assist civilians and colleagues affected by explosive-related incidents. In July 2022, UNMAS completed IEDD ToT and Medical First Aid ToT courses for 16 NPF Officers. 5 Officers passed the phase 3 level and qualified as IEDD instructors, 2 additional officers passed the phase 2 level and qualified as IEDD Operators. 6 Officers qualified as Medical First Aid instructors and 3 qualified as Medical First Aid providers. Officers who qualified as IEDD Instructors and First Aid instructors have gained the skills and knowledge to train their peers.
- A comprehensive data collection and management system (IMSMA) has been developed to collect, consolidate and analyze all available mine action related data and inform the humanitarian response. In July 2022, UNMAS completed the training of 6 Information Management Officers of various government authorities (including SEMA, NSCDC, NEMA, NPF, MRRR and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs) on Information Management.
The use of explosive weapons over thirteen years of conflict, mostly improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by non-state armed groups (NSAGs) has resulted in numerous deaths and severe injuries to civilians, hindered access to basic social services and socio-economic activities and hampered safe return of IDPs and refugees as well as the free movement of host community members. The operating environment remains extremely volatile, particularly in Borno State, where major supply routes continue to be dangerous to civilians and humanitarian workers due to risk of attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAGs), as well as from unexploded ordnance, particularly landmines of an improvised nature. Road Planted IEDs, Person-Borne IEDs (PBIEDs) and Vehicle-Borne IEDs (VBIEDs) remain the primary weapon of choice for the Boko-Haram factions. In February 2023, 27 explosive ordnance incidents (including 17 potential contamination incidents) were reported, totaling 68 for 2023. In February 2023, 4 people (including 3 civilians) were injured and 7 (including 5 civilians) were killed totaling 12 killed and 6 injured in 2023. Between 2016 and February 2023, a total of 2,468 people were been Injured (including 1,478 civilians) and 1,490 (including 842 civilians) were killed as result of explosive ordnance.
According to 2023 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 8.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in BAY States due to the ongoing conflict, 6 million people are targeted for the humanitarian response in 2023, out of which 1.4 million people are Internally displaced, living in formal and informal camps, as well as in host communities. of the 6 million people in need targeted, the mine action sub-sector has identified approximately 1.2 million people to be in need of mine action of which it will target 400,000 individuals across northeast Nigeria in 2023. In 2021, the Borno State Government (BSG) announced it will close all IDP camps in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and relocate them to their villages of origin. In 2022, BSG pushed ahead with the policy and closed all IDP camps within Maiduguri Metropolis and Jere LGA. The closure of the camps have affected over 160,000 individuals.
UNMAS delivers EORE to affected populations, including IDPs, host communities, returnees and refugees, as well as EOA training to UN personnel and the humanitarian community. Awareness materials, radio messages and pre-recorded messages in talking devices are designed to the specific context of Northeast Nigeria and to the specific needs of each gender and age group. In addition to traditional EORE, UNMAS distributed electronic talking devices with pre-recorded EORE songs and dramas to sensitize the population on the risks posed by explosive hazards. COVID -19 safety messages are also being delivered together with EORE messages. Under the ongoing ECHO funding, UNMAS has awarded contracts to three CSOs to provide EORE and VA operations across the BAY states. UNMAS also conducted a Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice and Beliefs (KAPB) survey and an Impact Assessment of Explosive Ordnance on Groups of Populations in Borno State to identify risks faced by for different age, gender and location groups, and to tailor risk education methodologies and modules for different demographics of the target population. UNMAS has developed national standards for EORE in consultations with the Mine Action Sub Working Group (MASWG).
Survey & Marking:
In order to inform the planning of immediate and future humanitarian mine action, it is necessary to collect information on the nature and extent of contamination. In this regard, UNMAS has conducted and coordinated NTS including at the sites for expansion and building of new IDP camps, for the refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities. In light of the Borno State Government's effort to relocate IDPs from Maiduguri, UNMAS is coordinating with various partners to identify the risks for the people traveling and resettling into potentially contaminated areas and to mitigate the risks for them.
In order to support survivors of explosive incidents and enable access to emergency and long-term medical assistance, psychological support and social inclusion, UNMAS Nigeria conducted a data collection and mapping of services, this enabled it to identify the needs of the survivors as well as the existing services and have established a referral mechanism. Under the current ECHO funding, UNMAS through its partners is identifying victims of EO accidents and survivors in order to support them and also to refer them to existing facilities providing VA support. The referral system will allow for effective and long-term support for the victims and survivors, with particular attention to needs of women and girls. The referral mechanism can also be used by other UN, international and local organizations, enabling well-coordinated and efficient protection assistance. In addition, UNMAS will be working with CSOs, national and state authorities to provide assistance to victims of explosive ordnance accidents and persons with disabilities across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states.
National Capacity Development:
Nigeria is a party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC). In December 2011, at the 11th Meeting of the States Parties, Nigeria presented a formal declaration of completion of destruction of anti-personnel mines. However, in 2019, at the Fourth Review conference, Nigeria reported contamination in the North-east as result of the conflict. In December 2020, at the 18th Meeting of the State Parties, Nigeria announced the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee for APMBC compliance. In 2021, a request for extension of its obligations under the Article 5 of the APMBC until 2025 was submitted and endorsed at the 19th Meeting of State Parties. The Inter-Ministerial Committee has announced its intention to establish a National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) and requested support in the extension request. Mine action partners will continue to coordinate with the Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Implementation Support Unit of the APMBC. Mine action partners will also continue supporting the Nigerian national, state and local partners to develop capacity to conduct humanitarian mine action, including training-of-trainers courses of EORE and NTS, IEDD/EOD courses.
UNMAS has been able to deploy to Nigeria and deliver life-saving humanitarian mine action thanks to financial contributions from the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan, Germany and ECHO.
UNMAS yearly financial requirement to implement a comprehensive mine action programme is estimated at USD 3.5 million and is reflected in the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria. A detailed programmatic concept note is available on request.
Data as of February 2023