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Nigeria - Damasak /Mobbar LGA – Rapid Assessment, December 2017

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Key Messages for Decision Makers

  • Before the crisis, the main source of livelihood for the men was farming, fishing and livestock rearing. Almost 70% of the population were involved in farming, 30 percent in fishing, with majority involved in petty trading activity at off seasons. Women were selling food (street food and local pasta) and involved in cap making.

  • At the moment, source of livelihood for men includes farming for a small fraction and petty trading. Some women selling street food have lost their capital, while few of them are involved in cap making.

  • Farm lands within a perimeter of 2-3 km outside of Damasak town were deemed not safe.
    Although residents are allowed by the military to farm within a radius of 10 km, farmers are not willing to go beyond 3 km because of security threat.

  • According to the key informants, almost 65% of Damasak population have returned back.
    The remaining people are reported to be in Niger or Maiduguri. The Nigerian Immigration Service has registered 90,000 people, while a recent head count carried out by INTERSOS provides an estimate of 63,500 people.

  • According to the key informants, almost 90% of the traders have not returned to Damasak.
    Most of them are reported to be in Maiduguri and Niger where they are running commercial activities.

  • There is no security restriction on commercial activities, and the main roads axis (Damasak – Maiduguri; Damasak – Niger) are open to commercial trucks. Cash based transfer is gradually feasible, and traders could get additional food supplies from Kano and Kaduna, in order to respond to an increased demand.

  • Overall, the prevalence of global food insecurity (severe and moderate) is 51%, of which 5% are severely food insecure. The prevalence of global food insecurity is higher amongst returnees (61%) and IDPs (51%) in comparison to host populations (34%).

  • According to the October 2017 Cadre Harmonise (CH), from October to December 2017,
    Mobbar LGA will be in CH phase 3 (crisis), with 57,000 people in phase CH 3 and 4 (crisis and emergency). During the 2018 lean season, the LGA will remain in CH phase 3, but the number of people in crisis and emergency situation will reach 60,000.

  • By comparison, during the 2017 lean season, 98,000 people were in the three combined critical food insecurity situations, including 1,700 people in famine-like conditions.

  • Overall, the food security situation is not so alarming, therefore there is no need to provide blanket food assistance. Food assistance should instead target the most vulnerable: those who missed the planting season; those who have no access to irrigation farming;those without abled body people; street food vendors who have lost their capital; fishermen who have lost their productive assets, etc.

  • There is a need to organize a joint response analysis with relevant humanitarian actors in order to reach a broader consensus around the following issues: (1) number of people in need of food assistance, (2) most appropriate transfer modality, (3) duration of assistance, (3) transition to a more targeted assistance tailored to the needs of affected people.