Activists want messages on Coronavirus translated

By Kabaka Quintous Leone

Civil society network for Eastern Equatoria State is appealing to the state High Level Taskforce on Covid-19 to translate the messages on coronavirus awareness to various languages in the state.

According to the activists, majority of the people in the villages were still not adhering to Covid-19 preventive measures.

The state ministry of health with support from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, last week launched translation of Covid-19 messages into Pari, Tennet, Lopit, Madi, Didinga but the civil society said other languages should be included in the translation.

Speaking to Juba Monitor, the Secretary General for Civil Society network Eastern Equatoria State Ocheng Phillip Clement said the State high level taskforce should include other tribes to interpret and translate Covid-19 messages in their local dialects.

Philip stressed the messages when broadcasted over radios will guide community on Covid-19 preventive measures. 

“If the messages are translated in all different languages in the state from time to time people have radio talks in their language, the people will understand the danger of the pandemic disease. This is going direct to the state high level taskforce to make sure that all the languages have to be translated,” he said.

“If my language is not yet interpreted or translated then how would I feel. I will not feel so good because you know myself and my own people they cannot understand because you remember in the state we have very many tribes so all these tribes have to be reflected,” Philip added.

In response, the chairperson for state high level taskforce as well as the Director General for state ministry of health, Dr. Elijo Omoro Tahir said some tribes use similar languages which make it easy for them to understand Covid-19 awareness messages.

Dr Elijah said the ministry lacks funding to extent translation to all the local languages in Eastern Equatoria State.

“Many other languages we speak are related than mutually intelligible and please if you belong to a small tribe and you are next to a bigger tribe and you understand actually please you are able to hear in a language that you understand, we are not doing it to please every single group,” he explained.

Dr. Elijo said for those who do not understand English or Arabic, they can have a chance to hear actually what is being said in their own language, “We cannot do it for every tribe, it is not possible we have been doing these through the support of other partners.”

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