Conflict in northeast Nigeria has caused a large-scale humanitarian crisis with 8.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.1 Today nearly 1.6 million people are displaced in the three states in the northeast, livelihoods have been lost, commercial markets and trade have been disrupted, host community resources are depleting, and large areas of Borno State remain inaccessible for humanitarian actors due to the volatile security situation.
Since late 2015, access to the affected populations in the conflict areas has gradually improved, enabling humanitarian organisations responding to the crisis to scale-up their operations, primarily to IDP and host communities in Maiduguri and the headquarters of many Local Government Authorities.
Logistics Gaps and Bottlenecks
Insecurity, poor/damaged infrastructure and increased humanitarian activity have placed significant demands on logistics capacity in the three affected states, with Borno State being most affected. Movement of humanitarian assistance into key operational areas remains limited, access for humanitarian staff is restricted, and some areas are inaccessible due to active hostilities. Given prevailing security conditions, most of the existing (or proposed) humanitarian aviation activities are supported by Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF) providing security.
In the accessible parts of the northeast, humanitarian actors report no serious issues accessing necessary logistics services through the commercial sector in the majority of these states. However, in Borno State, the scale of humanitarian assistance is still putting strains on the logistics resources available (i.e. transport assets contracted out of Maiduguri can be of poor quality, trucks are prone to breakdown and/or with limited capacity to move on waterlogged roads).
The road network in the northeast is generally favourable for long haul trucking to state capitals with last mile delivery being made along primary or secondary roads which link the majority of locations hosting affected populations. However, 4x4 or 6x6 trucks are suggested for harder to reach areas hosting affected populations or with poor road conditions. During the rainy season, from July to September, the use of all-terrain vehicles to reach some communities may be required. During the rainy season in 2016 and 2017 there were flood warnings in several Nigerian states, which necessitates the regular and careful monitoring of road conditions.
The volume of assistance and widespread damage to towns in Borno is still putting pressure on the existing warehouse capacity in Maiduguri and other field locations. Humanitarian actors still require additional capacities in customs clearance processes, warehouse management and the handling of specific relief items (i.e. dangerous goods).
There are also limited airstrip or aerodrome options in the northeast states. A number of field Landing Zones (LZs) have been established through the UNHAS Nigeria operations. Poor weather conditions, particularly during the Harmattan and the rainy season, insecurity and the limited supply of aviation fuel make conditions for air operations generally challenging.