Situation Overview: Humanitarian Needs and Conflict Dynamics in Hard-to-Reach Areas of North- and Central Borno (January - March 2020)

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The continuation of conflict in Northeast Nigeria has created a complex humanitarian crisis, rendering sections of Borno State as hard-to-reach (H2R) for humanitarian actors. To support the humanitarian response for affected populations, REACH has been conducting data collection in Northeast Nigeria since November 2018. The aim of these assessments is to inform humanitarian service providers on the demographics of the 971,000 persons estimated to be remaining in H2R areas, as well as to identify their needs, access to services, and to map displacement trends and intentions of movements.

This situation overview covers North- and Central Borno: Abadam, Damboa, Konduga, Kukawa, Mafa and Marte. Konduga and Damboa Local Government Areas (LGAs) were in the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) categorised as “extreme” in regards to intersectoral severity of needs, and Mafa LGA was categorised as “severe“. Due to the inaccessibility of Abadam, Kukawa and Marte data were not available from these LGAs in the HNO.1 For more information on Eastern Borno, please see situation overview for Eastern Borno.


Demographics and Movement: A high proportion of assessed settlements reported children under five years old and pregnant and lactating women to be remaining in the H2R settlements. The reported reasons for people remaining in the H2R settlements and reasons for migrating varied greatly between the LGAs, indicating different security situations in the respective LGAs.

Protection: The proportion of assessed settlements reporting incidents of conflict that killed a civilian and incidents of looting was lowest in Abadam and Kukawa compared to the other LGAs.

Food Security and Livelihood (FSL): FSL indicators suggested limited livelihood opportunities and access to food especially in Mafa and Marte in March. Assessed settlements reported that people used coping strategies to deal with insufficiency of food across all LGAs. Assessed settlements, however, reported more extreme coping strategies to be used in Damboa and Konduga and especially in Mafa and Marte.

Health: With an exception of Damboa and Konduga, almost none of the assessed settlements reported having access to a functional healthcare facility. The main health problems reported by assessed settlements included malaria/fever across all LGAs and waterborne diseases in all LGAs except Kukawa.

Water, Sanitation and Hygeine: An improved water source was reported as the main drinking water source in Abadam, Konduga and Kukawa while an unimproved water source was reported in Damboa, Mafa and Marte. Additionally almost all assessed settlements reported not using soap when washing their hands.

Shelter: Makeshift shelters were the most common shelter type among host communities and IDPs in all LGAs except Damboa and Konduga, where the most common shelter type reported was permanent shelters. Damboa was the only LGA reporting some IDPs to be living in the open without any shelters.

Communication and Information: Limited means of communication were reported across all LGAs, but especially in Mafa and Marte.