Overview of the VFL 2019 Project in Nigeria

Views from the Frontlines (VFL) 2019 is the largest independent global review of Disaster Risk reduction at the local level. It aims to strengthen the inclusion and collaboration between at risk people, civil society and government in the design and implementation of policies and practices to reduce risks and strengthen resilience. Women Environment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV) being a grassroots organisation, through this project aims to increase awareness and strengthen accountability of Governments and Inter-governmental bodies for a people-centred approach in disaster-related threats embattling various communities across the six Geo-political zones in Nigeria. The project, under the platform of GNDR, funded by The European Union, consists of three stages; the preparatory phase, the data collection and revalidation phase, and the local action planning (LAP) phase. 

The National Advisory Committee (NAC) in Nigeria had 17 participants drawn from government agencies (NOA, NEMA, NIMET amongst others), the academia, CSOs and Private sectors in attendance to discuss cogent issues relating to the implementation and execution of the project in the country with guidance from the NAC members. Afterwards, application was rolled out on one of the country’s National dailies focusing on key threat areas such as flooding, landslide/gully erosion, violent/conflicts, drought, communal clashes, effect of environmental degradation due to Oil Exploration, disease outbreak, and fire. After two weeks, 22 applicants were recorded.

Each organisation’s applications was assessed by a 3-man assessment committee with support from the NAC based on four cardinal points; complete application, organisation capacity, understanding Disaster Risk Reduction, and presence in risk area. Having revealed all applications, BECOLIN (Imo State), Bege House Foundation (Adamawa State), JAKIN NGO (Lagos State), NAPPDRR (Akwa Ibom State), NDWPD (Delta State), and WOYODEV (Kwara State) were selected. Afterwards, the selected Partner Organisations (POs) were trained in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria upon which project implementation commenced; Administration of questionnaires to the local communities in: 

⦁ Focus Group Discussions: Women, Youth and Children, Elderly, People Living Disabilities, Men.
⦁ Key Informant Interviews: Local Government,
⦁ Key Informant Interviews: Local CSOs. 

Data collected were analysed with support from GNDR where community specific outcomes and conclusions were collated. The outcomes and conclusions drawn were used to proceed into the LAP phase involving multi-stakeholders such as community leader, women, men, youth, and people living with disability, religious leader, Local Government, and local CSOs. During these workshops, local actions to be taken in each community were discussed and finalized by the stakeholders utilising the seed fund available.

Some of the challenges encountered are; lack of good roads, lack of government interventions scheme, poverty, corruption, incomplete dredges done by the government, erratic power supply, amongst others.

Some of suggestions are: need for immediate interventions, widen drainage systems in affected communities and also completion of abandoned projects to ease communal life, provision of soft loans to small-scale businesses, support for affected communities, provision of relief materials, amongst others. A major suggestion that cut across all 15 communities is the need for open government and community representatives to be included in Local Government planning and implementations.

Photo from Partner Organisation in Adamawa State: Bege House Foundation

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