In 2020 the Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS) will continue to provide critical Information Technology and Communication (ICT) services for the humanitarian community to enable the delivery of life-saving assistance in the deep field in Borno State and the state capitals of the BAY states where telecommunication services are lacking or were destroyed in the conflict. This includes coordination and information management services to ensure a coherent response and minimise duplication of efforts by sharing ETS information products, including dashboards, situation reports, and infographics, timely disseminated among global and local partners, and posting online at the Nigeria ETCluster.org platform.
Since the beginning of 2019, the Emergency Telecommunications Sector (ETS) in Nigeria has provided Internet connectivity services to more than 2,455 users from 90 organizations at eight humanitarian hubs across Borno State– Bama, Banki, Damasak, Dikwa, Gwoza, Maiduguri, Monguno and Ngala. In January and February, the ETS completed the installation of audio conference kits at all of the hubs across north-east Nigeria, which will enable staff to communicate and improve the coordination of humanitarian activities between hubs.
In January, the ETS conducted a mission to Yola, Adamawa State to upgrade the security communications network and Security Operations Centre (SOC). In February, the team programmed 68 handheld radios for humanitarians from 12 organizations to ensure their safety and security in the field. The ETS also held a session on security communications for humanitarians during the Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE) training in Maiduguri.
The ETS faced challenges due to the deteriorating security situation in the north-east. The ETS had to postpone its missions, including maintenance activities, training and deployment of equipment, to deep field locations. The ETS also faced a funding shortage that affected its planned activities for January and February. As of end of February, no funding had been received. This year, the ETS requires a total of $2.9 million to carry out its projects.
The ETS is preparing to install a hybrid solar-based power system to provide sustainable power supply at all humanitarian hubs. Currently, humanitarian hubs rely solely on fuel-powered generators. The use of solar power will help resolve fuel shortages that impact the generators' power supply.
The ETS team will conduct missions to Bama and Banki to train hub managers on the newly deployed audio-conferencing kits, as well as to carry out maintenance on Internet connectivity equipment. The ETS also plans to continue the configuration and testing of the advanced features of the Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), which is equipped with staff and vehicle tracking devices. The ETS will continue programming radios for humanitarian staff to improve communication and facilitate life-saving activities.
The ETS will conduct a series of training courses in security communications for UN and NGO staff. The ETS is also preparing for an assessment mission to identify potential projects to provide communications services to affected populations.