The ETS team continues to provide vital communications services – Internet connectivity in eight humanitarian hubs and security communications in 10 operational areas – to the humanitarian community across North-East Nigeria, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January 2020, the ETS has provided Internet connectivity services to more than 4,401 users from 113 organizations (15 United Nations agencies and 98 non-governmental organizations/NGOs).
The COVID-19-related restrictions on the movement of humanitarians have required ETS staff to work from home to curb the spread of the virus in North-East Nigeria. During the reporting period, most ETS staff worked remotely, while five staff worked in the office at the Red Roof humanitarian hub in Maiduguri on a needs-based schedule.
In November, the ETS programmed 13 radios to enable humanitarians to improve communication between staff and to ensure their safety and security in the region. The ETS helpdesk received and resolved 110 ICT-related issues reported by its users through email and phone. The team also conducted remote capacity building activities by delivering three training sessions on basic security telecommunications for 26 participants from Jireh Doo Foundation, International alert and the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED).
The ETS team embarked on missions to deep field locations – Dikwa, Gwoza and Ngala – to resolve technical issues that require the physical presence of ETS technicians. Similarly, an ETS telecommunications specialist embarked on a two-week support mission to the UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) sites in Enugu and Sokoto to set up Security Operations Centres (SOCs) in those locations.
The ETS team participated in a joint meeting with Telecommunications Security Standards (TESS), UNDSS and WFP to discuss the set-up of a remote Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Maiduguri. The ETS will provide technical support to the UNDSS team.
Due to COVID-19-related restrictions, the ETS has had to postpone several of its planned activities, including field missions to install the hybrid solar power system in all eight sites in Borno State where the ETS provides connectivity services. The pandemic has also delayed staff recruitment. However, as travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 have eased, the team has commenced planning to install the hybrid solar power system in field locations in December.