With funding support from the European Commission – Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Christian Aid has launched a project aimed at strengthening disaster preparedness in Nigeria (with a focus on flooding) by improving Early Warning and Early Response systems in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau States.
The project, Improving Early Warning and Early Response Systems to Strengthen Disaster Preparedness in Nigeria’s Middle Belt (E4E), will run for two years.
The project will improve emergency preparedness, timeliness and quality of risk information as well as improving response actions for multiple natural hazards by communities, government (from local to federal) and NGOs in a coordinated manner.
To do this, the project will build community resilience and preparedness to flooding disaster and design contingency plans for response.
The project will also strengthen the coordination and capcity of government agencies mandated to respond to such disasters, while also enhancing effective, inclusive and timely response to disasters in line with the national emergency and disaster response framework.
Benue, Kaduna and Plateau states
40,500 vulnerable individuals within the 27 target communities and 15 local, state and federal agencies
ECHO Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection
The intervention will focus on 27 rural locations across nine local government associations (LGAs) of Benue, Plateau and Kaduna states.
It will directly reach 40,500 vulnerable individuals within the 27 target communities and 15 local, state and federal agencies, including LEMA, SEMA and NEMA, NIMET, as well as ward structures and ministries such as the Federal Ministry of Environment and Agriculture.
The 40,500 beneficiaries are members of communities in watershed rural and urban areas with a record of incessant natural hazards/flooding disasters.
The locations were selected because of their vulnerability to multiple these hazards, and unmet needs in preparedness and response.
The project will ensure that the direct beneficiaries are in the driving seat, making primary decisions and taking actions.
It will improve the interconnection between community/LGA, government's structures at local, state and federal levels as well as timely information sharing.
By doing so, it will increase political commitment to derive decentralised Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) planning and actions to better manage disaster risks and responses.
The most common and recurring natural disaster across target states was revealed to be flooding, with frequency, severity and spread of floods increasing over the last six years.
Heavy rains between July and October, combined with rising water levels, contributed to widespread recurrent flooding of communities located downstream from irrigation dams such as dam in Cameroun on Benue River.
However, previous needs assessments have revealed there is a critical gap in the national disaster response, particularly for flooding. In the past, the response has not been fully informed by comprehensive Early Warning Systems (EWS).
Other gaps identified include:
- Information about existing risks are not managed or shared effectively
- Early warning information needs to be developed and shared more widely
- Coordination needs to be improved, particularly between Federal, state and local systems
The project will therefore address these needs through:
- Setting up/strengthening context specific and decentralised Early Warning Systems (EWS)
- Strengthening local response by contingency planning, behaviour change, stockpiling and testing; DRR strategy planning.
- Linking learning across all levels, which will lead to reduced suffering of at least 40,500 vulnerable people and reduced disaster risks at ward, local and state level
Protection, gender, a focus on vulnerability, risk, inclusion and innovative learning will be mainstreamed.