Insecurity: Foundation launches early warning project in 4 states | Dailytrust

Insecurity: Foundation launches early warning project in 4 states

The CLEEN Foundation
The CLEEN Foundation

The Cleen Foundation has launched the Village Monitoring System (VMS)-Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) project in Nigeria with focus in 16 communities in four states of Kaduna, Plateau, Zamfara and Taraba.

The project launched by the Cleen Foundation and the United State Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in partnership with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday in Abuja, the United States reiterated its commitment to support Nigeria in advancing peace, conflict resolution and security through community centered programs like an “Early Warning and Early Response Initiative”.

The Political Officer U.S. Embassy, Mr. Suleyman Konte, said, “On behalf of the U.S. Mission and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, I would like to emphasize that the United States is committed to supporting Nigeria in advancing peace and security through community centered programs, including early warning and early response initiatives.

“We recognize that Nigeria faces unique security challenges on several fronts, and that the dynamics and solutions vary from location to location. Which is why, we are pleased to see that this program addresses emerging regions of concern, such as Zamfara, while also focusing on areas that have long experienced inter-communal conflict, like Kaduna and Taraba.

“The United States has a long and positive track record of working with our Nigerian partners to implement early warning and early response programs. So, the VMS program being launched today will build on lessons learned and best practices from previous Programs to enhance conflict resolutions and other insecurities,” Konte said.

He also emphasized the need to build the capacity and strengthening of the role of women in conflict prevention and peace building work.

Speaking earlier, the Acting Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Ms. Ruth Olofin, said the purpose of the launch was to formally present the project to stakeholders at the federal and national level.

She said the launch contains details on the project goals, objectives, activities and expected outcomes.

She said, “The goal of the VMS-EWER is to contribute to the reduction of civilian attacks in sixteen communities in Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states. These incidences are being driven by the effects of climate change; ethnic, religious and cultural tensions; weak response by security agencies.

“Collectively, in a bid to protect themselves, communities have resorted to self-help; self-protection and a progress involvement of women through the empowerment of community members, including women, to serve as peace-builders. The specific objectives of the project are to strengthen understanding of regional conflicts and mitigation opportunities through stakeholder assessment and community engagement.”

She said that this is also to build the capacity of 32 early responders to respond to conflict incidents and mitigate violence in the 16 communities over a two-year period and to train all responders on early detection and early response to conflicts.

Olofin said the project also seeks to end the cycle of violent conflict through the proactive deployment of new technology to aid early warning and capacitance the community members to utilise the early warning alerts and carry out early response to forestall the attack on the communities.

The representative of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Dr Zainab Ahmed, commended the project.

She said that the need for an early warning and early response mechanism on conflicts, violence and other security threats in the focus states could not be overemphasized.

She said, “This project is coming at the right time, because the spate of insecurities is overwhelming especially in volatile areas. And when conflict arise, the people that suffer the most are the women, so we are happy that emphasis is been laid on empowering women as responders.

“And as a nationwide association, we are willing and ready to get trained and join the responders to ensure anything that will bring and sustain peace and stability in the North.”

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