Nigeria: iMMAP/DFS COVID-19 Situation Analysis (1 - 31 January 2021)

Originally published


Executive Summary / Highlights

Key highlights

This report includes detailed analysis that utilizes data from reports provided by DTM and REACH that were conducted in November 2020. This provides a significant amount of quantitative information. However, there are a number of caveats as to how this data has been used to support analysis within this report. An overview of the sources and their use can be found in Annex 1 on page 41.

In addition, an extra WASH and NFI section has been included (Annex 2 on page 42) which provides an in-depth study of WASH needs and gaps in four LGAS in northern Borno using the MSNA2020 data set (data collected in July/August 2020). The analysis attempts to look in more detail and the differences between population groups and between different LGAs to understand more about how the range of and scale of needs differs across communities. The analysis raises a lot more questions than it answers, but it is clear that the actual situation on the ground can be very different from the “average” situation faced by IDPs living in camps or within host communities.

BAY states COVID-19 epidemic overview

The number of new COVID-19 cases was increasing at the beginning of the month and has now stabilized. The last week of January saw 93 new cases, compared with an average of 100 new cases per week during the previous four weeks. Testing also increased to 1888 tests from an average of 1330 per week for the previous month. The spike in cases could be a result of the travel over the holiday period which was flagged as a concern by government health officials, but there is little hard data on the causes of the likely future trajectory. Concerns remain that crowded conditions in IDP camps could lead to large outbreak.

COVID-19 containment measures

Following the increasing number of new COVID-19 cases in the country in early January, the federal government extended restriction from the phase 3 eased lockdown guidelines by one-month on 26th January 2021. This includes the mandatory wearing of face-masks, encouraging staff to work from home, physical distancing measures and efforts (such as signage and hand washing facilities) to prevent the spread of the virus. Schools are expected to be opened but this should include a number of safety measures including the compulsory wearing of face-masks by staff and students, temperature checks, constant supply of water and sanitizers and the availability of health clinics for the isolation and transportation of suspected cases. Travel restrictions including PCR testing and quarantine remain in place.

Security and humanitarian access

In January, the security situation in northeast Nigeria remained very fragile as NSAG attacks continue to target civilians and humanitarian actors across Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. The level of conflict has increased since the end of the dry season. In one incident Armed Opposition Groups (AOG) attacked the town of Marte, located 114 km northeast of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, northeast Nigeria, and took control of the town until 17 January 2021 when government forces regained control. Fighting is driving further displacements, compromising livelihoods, and increasing tension and fear within affected communities.

With the escalating insecurity and threats of NSAG attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers, and aid facilities; humanitarian access in the conflict-affected states of northeast Nigeria has been highly constrained since the start of the humanitarian response. New waves of NSAG attacks and clashes with government forces along key supply routes however aggravated access challenges in northern Borno. Conflict has led to the delay of Several aid convoys as well as a 10-day suspension of UNHAS helicopter flights resulting in weeks of shortages for many IDPs, refugee returnees, and host community population.

The increased risks are leaving humanitarian agencies facing tough choices. It is becoming increasingly difficult to secure transport from their vendors at the agreed rates to field locations, and some humanitarian organizations have opted to travel with armed escorts provided by the Nigerian Armed Forces, which poses several challenges. The movement of personnel to field locations for routine supervision and maintenance has also been a major challenge due to COVID-19 prevention measures constraining many “non-essential” activities.