Borno State government plans to relocate or resettle internally displaced persons (IDPs) within their LGA of origin increase the need for humanitarian mine action activities, such as surveying land prior to return and explosive ordnance risk education. Relocation and resettlement plans also require efforts to train Nigerian institutions in the management of mine action in areas yet inaccessible to humanitarians.
However, despite increasing needs, measures taken to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce risks for vulnerable populations mean a decreased number of people now benefit from risk education sessions to ensure physical distancing. Mine Action activities are also lower priority for the reduced UN Humanitarian Air Service to deep field locations.
In October 2020, 34 incidents with explosive hazards were recorded, and four people were injured and 3 were killed predominantly by landmines of an improvised nature. Nine of the accidents could have been prevented.
In November 2020, 41 incidents with explosive hazards were recorded, and 36 people were injured and killed predominantly by landmines of an improvised nature. Five of these accidents, such as civilians picking up explosive remnants of war, could have been prevented.
In October, the Mine Action sub-sector (MASS) reached a total of 14,636 people through explosive ordnance risk education (EORE): 3,131 girls, 3,235 boys, 4,321 women, and 3,949 men. A total of 14 non-technical surveys (NTS) took place in Gwoza, Konduga, Dikwa, Mubi South and Madagali LGAs.
In November, a total of 11,257 people were reached through EORE: 2,825 girls, 2,926 boys, 3,393 women, and 2,113 men. A total of 7 NTS took place in Gwoza, Dikwa, Jere, Madagali, Mubi South, Michika LGAs.
Emergency First Responder training was conducted for 92 National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel, including 22 women. Advanced Emergency First Responder training was conducted for 16 people, including 8 women, in order to increase capacity to save lives and reduce the impact of explosive incidents. In November, MASS conducted EORE training of trainers for 32 staff from the National Emergency Management Agency and Borno State Emergency Management Agency, including 4 women. In addition, a Victim Assistance Specialist mapped needs and services for victims and survivors of explosive incidents.
In October, Nigeria requested an extension of the Article 5 of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention deadline and presented the request at the 18th Meeting of State Parties in November, with support from the MASS.
The main challenges the sub-sector faces include an increase in needs and insufficient capacity, including funding, to address these, as well as limited possibility to interact with beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding remains a challenge since most operations are delivered through Community Liaison Teams. It is essential for the Mine Action partners to scale up capacity to survey lands prior to returns as well as to raise awareness to IDPs who are resettled.
The Mine Action sub-sector has addressed some of these challenges by recruiting a Medic who trained NSCDC personnel on emergency medical response to increase capacity to save lives and reduce the impact of explosive incidents on civilians, such as attacks involving ammunition or gunfire or road traffic accidents. In addition, a Victim Assistance Specialist was hired to map needs and services for victims and survivors of explosive incidents.