In Nigeria today frequent conflicts, disappearances and mass violence, especially in the Northern region of the country, have amounted to large-scale destruction of property, loss of human lives and the displacement of large populations. As these conflicts and violence rage in communities that are far removed from the capital city, several community members are grappling with securing their lives and property. The Village Monitoring System and Early Warning Early Response Project has been designed to empower citizens in the communities with information about attacks, knowledge of how to respond and space for safe sharing and learning about attacks and how to deescalate them. Popularly known as the EWER project, it was launched in September 2021 and formally took off in Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states between November 2021 and February 2022. The project has set up 16 EWER forums in the four states made up of 160 community members (10 in each) that were adjudged of integrity, concerned about the security of the community and possess a strong ability to work with others.
The goal of the project is to support community members in reducing the incidences of conflict or violent attacks in their communities. In less than a year of its implementation, members of EWER for a in the 16 communities have not only been trained on the mobile APP to engage in early information sharing about attacks in order to warn and circumvent future attacks, but, through the engagement with other community-based leaders and knowledge keepers, they are also working on making life preserving decisions about how to respond.