- Since August 2018, UNMAS conducted Explosive Ordnance Awareness (EOA) sessions for 232 humanitarian workers, 515 UN staff members and 113 government officials, health care workers, and others. Since January 2019, UNMAS also delivered Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) 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.
- UNMAS also conducted 8 Non-Technical Surveys (NTS) in Bama, Ngala, Nganzai and Monguno. Following those NTS, 5 confirmed hazardous areas were identified, marked and referred to relevant authorities for clearance. UNMAS also coordinated 133 NTS in 19 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states, resulting in the release of 111 safe lands and 11 spot tasks. 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 hazard management capacities, UNMAS provided First Responder to explosive incidents training to 68 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.
- In line with the Humanitarian Needs Overview and Humanitarian Response Plan, the Mine Action Sub-Sector, under the Protection sector has identified 1.5 million people in need for life-saving assistance with a focus on Physical and Mental Well-Being. In 2020, the dedicated Mine Action Sub-Sector will target 632,000 individuals from all genders and ages to facilitate with decisive lifesaving risk education, mapping and marking of hazardous areas, development of community owned protection and resilience mechanisms and identification of survivors and affected communities in 17 LGAs across BAY States, under the first Protection Sector Objective of enhancing civilians' protection from harm and responding to specific needs and risks with timely and comprehensive protection services. UNMAS continues to coordinate the Mine Action Sub-Working Group.
- A comprehensive data collection and management system (IMSMA) has been developed to collect, consolidate and analyse all available mine action related data and inform the humanitarian response. 2,799 incidents have been collated. NTS tasks have been undertaken in several places in order to assess the actual contamination.
- In light of the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) global pandemic COVID-19, UNMAS had temporarily limited operations since 23 March 2020. The first case in Borno state was confirmed on 19 April 2020. As of 30 September 2020, most of the states including Borno were on lockdown with 58,460 cases including 1,111 deaths reported in Nigeria. As of 30 September, 507,006 samples have been tested in Nigeria. UNMAS Nigeria has been engaged in processes to develop a COVID-19 addendum to the HRP 2020. Mine Action partners in Nigeria, have decreased the attendance to EORE sessions from 20 to 5 participants to maintain social distancing. During EORE sessions, beneficiaries ask a lot of questions about how they can protect against COVID-19. Thanks to messages prepared by WHO and UNICEF, the Community Liaison Teams are in a position to deliver simple preventative messaging. Mine Action partners are working on radio messaging in order to mitigate the decrease of direct beneficiaries.
In 2020, 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. From January 2020 to 24 September 2020, 334 civilian and non-civilian fatalities and casualties have been recorded. The presence of the explosive devices not only endangers the lives of the population and hampers the return to normal life, but also impedes humanitarian access and recovery efforts.
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 Team, affected population, national authorities and act as the coordinator for all UN mine action-related matters in the Northeast; and
- Plan for the wide-scale delivery of emergency risk reduction, survey, and clearance operations as part of the Humanitarian Response Plan.
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 material and radio messages are designed to the specific context of Northeast Nigeria. In addition to traditional EORE, UNMAS is currently developing billboards and short movies to sensitize the population on the risks posed by explosive hazards. UNMAS has conducted preliminary studies towards a possible innovative approach to launch a Risk Education Technical Device (RETD) to disseminate EORE messages in hard-to-reach areas and to inaccessible at-risk populations in BAY states. The RETD application might be used to deliver EORE messages along with basic COVID-19 prevention awareness messages.
Survey & Marking:
In order to inform the planning of immediate and future mine action, it is necessary to gain information on the nature and extent of contamination. As a mitigation measure, UNMAS plans to conduct NTS in accessible areas and in areas frequented by IDPs and host community members for socio-economic activities (e.g. firewood collection, land cultivation). UNMAS has conducted NTS that was used for the expansion and building of new IOM managed IDP camps.
National Capacity Development:
The Nigerian Police Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams are currently working in Maiduguri and in a limited number of towns only. However, it is expected that State institutions will redeploy in Borno’s secured areas, including the police forces who will resume the responsibility of protecting civilians. UNMAS will launch a training initiative to reinforce the national capacity of the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to protect civilian populations against explosive ordnance in BAY states. UNMAS also delivers first responder courses to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Police Force.
UNMAS was able to deploy to Nigeria and establish a programme thanks to financial contributions from the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Germany, as well as in-kind contributions of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.
UNMAS yearly financial requirement to implement a comprehensive mine action programme is estimated at USD 4.5 million and is reflected in the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria. A detailed programmatic concept note is available on request.
(Data updated: October 2020)