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, non-technical survey, and capacity development for the national and state authorities, as well as a civil organization.
As of 31 May 2021, 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 681,899 (132,859 men, 180,084 women, 192,835 boys and 176,121 girls) beneficiaries across northeast Nigeria. UNMAS has also conducted EORE training of trainers for 14 volunteers of a civil society organisation as well as 32 members of national and state authorities in order to enhance sustainability and national ownership. In addition, UNMAS has conducted Explosive Ordnance Awareness (EOA) sessions for 884 humanitarian workers, 339 UN staff members and 545 government officials, health care workers, and others since January 2019.
- Non-Technical Surveys (NTS) to enable safe access to lands designated for the extension of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Bama, Ngala, Nganzai and Monguno. UNMAS also coordinated 206 NTS in 19 LGAs in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states.
- 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 to train emergency trauma management and 195 are capable to provide emergency first aid. UNMAS also provided 10 kits of Emergency Trauma Bag to NPF personnel in order to reinforce their capacity to assist civilians and colleagues affected by explosive-related incidents.
- 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.
In 2021, and after ten years of violent conflict, explosive devices continue to put millions of people at risk, not only endangering the lives of the vulnerable population and hinders restoration and access to socioeconomic infrastructure, but also hampers delivery of critical humanitarian aid.
The operating environment remains extremely volatile, particularly in Borno State, where all the major supply routes have become dangerous—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 IED, Person-Borne IEDs (PBIEDs) and Vehicle-Borne IEDs (VBIEDs) remain the primary weapon of choice for the Boko-Haram factions. 190 explosive incidents have been reported from January to May 2021. Between 2016 and 2021, 2,042 people were injured and 1,239 killed, out of which 1,279 civilians were injured and 744 civilians killed.
According to Humanitarian Response Plan 2021, 8.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in BAY States due to the ongoing crisis while 6.4 million people are targeted for the humanitarian response in 2021, out of which 1.92 million people are internally displaced, living in formal and informal camps, as well as in host communities. 1.5 million people are estimated to need mine action and 445,000 individuals are targeted across 15 LGAs across northeast Nigeria in 2021.
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 and to the specific needs of each gender and age group. 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 plans to introduce mobile talking devices to disseminate EORE message to hard-to-reach and inaccessible at-risk population in BAY states. This can also be used to deliver basic COVID-19 prevention awareness messages along with EORE messages. COVID-19 safety messages are also being delivered during EORE sessions. UNMAS also conducted a representative survey Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice and Beliefs (KAPB) to produce recommendations for tailored and appropriate risk education methodologies and messages for different demographics of the target population. UNMAS also developed national standards for EORE in consultations with the 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 NTS for expansion and building of new IDP camps, and plans to conduct NTS in temporary accessible areas to enable socio-economic activities (e.g. firewood collection, land cultivation, schooling and access to medical facilities) for the refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities.
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 police forces who will resume the responsibility of protecting civilians. UNMAS launched a training initiative to reinforce the national capacity of NPF and the NSCDC to protect civilian populations against explosive ordnance in BAY states. UNMAS also delivers first responder courses to the NPF and NSCDC.
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 identifies the needs of the survivors as well as the existing services and establishes a referral mechanism. This will enable effective and long-term support for the victims and survivors, with particular attention to needs of women and girls. Such a referral mechanism can also be used by other UN, international and local organizations, enabling well-coordinated and efficient protection assistance. In addition, UNMAS will conduct workshops to train and familiarize the national and state authorities on victim assistance.
UNMAS was able to deploy to Nigeria and to establish a programme thanks to financial contributions from the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Germany.
UNMAS yearly financial requirement to implement a comprehensive mine action programme is estimated at USD 4.5 million and is reflected in the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria. A detailed programmatic concept note is available on request.
Data as of May 2021