Six months in control of an Inter-Agency Logistics Base

In Maiduguri (Nigeria), Première Urgence Internationale has been in charge of the management of an Inter-Agency Logistics Base since December 2016. Juliette Guegan was the first manager of this warehouse. She tells us about her experience working with the Logistics Sector Nigeria for six months.

Inter-Agency Logistics Base

In control of an Inter-NGO Logistics base

In Nigeria, the context can change from one day to another, as well as the populations’ needs. We need to adapt.

During my time in Maiduguri, the Logistics sector trough Première Urgence Internationale started offring air cargo consolidation to support UNHAS operations and build a temperature controlled area for medical supplies. When a natural disaster or a conflict arises, this network enables to bring water, food and emergency shelter kits to isolated populations. Before my departure the construction of a timber shed had started and plans were ongoing for building a kitting area and a training/conference room.

First experience in logistics

It was great to see the partnership evolving as the new common services had become available at the Inter-Agency Logistics Base. I learned a lot, especially about stakeholder management as I had to develop and maintain relationships with many humanitarian organisations based in Maiduguri. This was a new angle of work for me and made the assignment very interesting – the main difference from my previous assignments was that I used to interact a lot with the local communities in the Kurdish region of Iraq, whereas in Nigeria, the humanitarian actors were themselves “project beneficiaries”.  I definitely developed more flexibility in my project management routine because of this.

My biggest challenge was the beginning of the project when we had to “advertise” the services to the organizations on the ground and explain how to access the free-to user storage space by submitting the service requests. We had to organize many bilateral meetings to understand the needs of humanitarian organisations, but also to build relationships based on trust which is at the basis of project success.

Inter-Agency Logistics Base

It was my first experience with the sector/cluster coordination. A cluster is a sectorial organization, which gathers operational logistics actors to facilitate the work and the coordination of humanitarian partners.

An attentive team

My first experience in the logistics sector was very meaningful, The team was very supportive throughout my time there. I liked that we could have open discussions and meet anytime, whenever it was needed. The team was always keen to discuss and welcomed any suggestions for improvement at the warehouse. All the decisions were made jointly, which I believe is the key to successful partnership. I miss the warehouse team, who were extremely devoted to their job but we also had lots of good laughs together.

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