コロナの日々 その4 Coronavirus days (Part 4)

例年は、首都Kampalaばかりか、Kitgumのようなド田舎でも、中央からのVIP…ファーストレディなど、を迎え、賑々しい催しが行われ、Kampalaなどでは海外からの来賓も多数迎え、国を挙げて、お祝いムードで盛り上がるのですが、コロナ禍の今年は、ふつうなら数時間にも及ぶ大統領のスピーチがあったのかどうか、BBC Newsでさえも報道が確認できません。
On Oct. 9 Uganda marked the 58th anniversary of its independence. Ordinarily, lavish events attended by high-ranking government officials, the first lady, and other dignitaries would be held not just in the capital of Kampala but even in rural areas like Kitgum. Many guests from overseas would come to Kampala, and the country would be in a celebratory mood. But this year, because of the havoc caused by the coronavirus, we can’t find out even from the BBC News whether or not the president gave his usual hours-long speech. 

As was announced in his late September speech on the coronavirus, on Oct. 15 the country’s closed borders were opened and Entebbe International Airport was reopened. Of course, there are strict conditions for entry, but evidently it is now possible to enter the country for national affairs or business.
Kameda Kazuaki, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda, who came to Kitgum for the handover ceremony for the new library in January, has left his post.

 また、Primary校とSecondary校で、各々の最終学年(P.7, O.4, A.2)だけの授業も再開。ただし、手指洗いの水道設備やソーシャルディスタンス等を確保できることなどが条件のため、ごく一部の学校だけで始まっただけとのこと。 今年度私どもの就学支援生の中には当該学年の子供は無し。もしいたとしても、彼らが通うガバメント学校は“水道設備”など無いので条件をクリアできないでしょう…。ほとんどの子供たちは今も“食”にありつきやすいタウンよりさらに田舎の村々に行ったきりのようです。   
 In the primary and secondary schools, classes have resumed only for the highest grades (P. 7, O. 4, A. 2). But because running water for hand-washing and social distancing are required, apparently only a few schools have actually resumed classes. None of the students the library is supporting this school year is in those grades. Even if they were, the government schools they attend do not have running water and cannot meet these requirements. Apparently, most of the children are still in rural villages rather than in the towns, where it is easier to get food.
  9月末、”科学者たちは、アフリカの低い新型コロナ致死率の背後にある理由を見つけようとしている“というロイター通信の記事がJapan News紙に掲載され、広島のNさんがコピーを送ってくださいました。南アフリカやモロッコの感染者数、死者数は決して少ないとはいえませんし、ウガンダを含む他のアフリカ諸国でも徐々に感染者数、死者数ともに増えつつはありますが、確かに当初予測されていたよりははるかに低く抑えられています。要因として、  
  In late September a Reuters article under the headline “Puzzled scientists seek reasons behind Africa's low fatality rates from pandemic” appeared in the Japan News, and N-san in Hiroshima prefecture sent it to us. There have been quite a few coronavirus cases and deaths in South Africa and Morocco, and in Uganda and other African countries as well the number of cases and deaths are gradually increasing. But the numbers are far lower than initial projections. The article suggests several factors:
   1. Inaccurate official figures, unrecorded deaths
   2. Demographics: Africa’s youthful population   
   3. Cross-protection from the BCG tuberculosis vaccine  
   4. Early closure of borders, travel restrictions   
   5. Resistance as a result of past exposure to other coronaviruses 

例えば①、どういう人が何人住んでいるかも定かでない奥地の村々では、多くの人々がコロナに限らず、どんな疾病ででも医療を受けることなく死亡、ほとんどは、“マラリアで“と処置されます。実は、”コロナで“だったとしても、PCR検査など不可能ですから、本当のところは誰にも分かりません。 コロナ死者数は増えないわけです。
② 確かに…、が、そもそも①と同じで、正確な人口動態調査は不可能、住民の人数、年齢などつかめないと思いますが。  
③ WHO、Red Crossといった国際医療機関にバックアップされたガバメントのチームが村々に分け入って無料接種を行っています。しかし、村落の年長者(呪術医!?)、親、保護者たちが占い?!などにより子供たちへの接種を妨げるケースが多々あります。昨秋、当局から「通学している子供たちは全員学校で受けるので、図書館塾の子供たちにも接種を受けさせて。」と依頼があり、子供たちに「接種してから図書館においで。」と伝えたら、かなりの子供たちが図書館に来なくなり、聞くと、親や保護者が、「害があるので受けさせない、だめというならもう図書館には行かせない!」と、拒絶。家庭訪問するなどし手をつくしましたが、全員に接種させることはできませんでした。  
④ これもアリですね。日本などがまだボーッとしているうちにさっさと空港も国境も学校も閉鎖、厳罰付きの外出・移動制限など導入、あまりの素早さにビックリしました。  
⑤ コレラや熱帯病等、毎年、散発の報道があり、ヒヤッとさせられますが、私どもが知る限り、抑え込みに成功しています。  
  Having observed the situation in Uganda for more than 20 years, we believe all of these are plausible.  
   1. In remote villages where it is unclear who and how many people are living there, many people may die from the coronavirus or other illnesses without receiving medical care. In most cases, their deaths are attributed to malaria. Even if they are said to have died from the coronavirus, there is no way to administer a PCR test, so one really knows whether they had the virus or not.  
   2. It’s true that Africa has a youthful population, but as with 1), it is impossible to conduct an accurate census, and the number of residents and their ages cannot be accurately determined.  
   3. Backed by international organizations such as the World Health Organization and Red Cross, government teams fan out to villages to give free vaccinations. But in many cases village elders (witch doctors?), parents, and guardians prevent children from being vaccinated on the basis of fortune-telling. Last fall, we were told by the local authorities that because children who attend school are vaccinated there, those who come to the library should be vaccinated also. But when we told the children they could not come to the library until they had been vaccinated, many of them stopped coming. When we inquired, parents and guardians told us that they would not have their children vaccinated because they believed the vaccinations were harmful and that if it was a requirement, they would no longer send their children to the library. We visited their homes and did everything we could, but we weren’t able to get all the children to get vaccinated.  
   4. This is also a factor. While Japan and other countries were still in a fog, Uganda and many African countries promptly closed their borders and schools and introduced strict travel restrictions with penalties. We were surprised by how quickly they took action.
   5. Every year reports of outbreaks of cholera and tropical diseases give everyone a scare, but as far as we know, efforts to suppress them have succeeded.  
   Whatever the reasons, we hope the scary predictions are off the mark and the pandemic will end as soon as possible.   




コロナの日々 その3 Coronavirus days (Part 3)


The airport and borders in Uganda are still closed, and the restrictions on going out and on travel remain in place. The government is apparently considering reopening schools, markets and public institutions before long. Despite the tight restrictions, about a month ago the first death in Uganda was officially announced, and since then one or two deaths have been reported every couple days. The situation in Kitgum is not as serious as it is in the capital of Kampala or along the borders with Kenya and Tanzania, but…


Kitgumからメールが来ました!  We have received e-mail from Emma! 

”3勇士” Emma, Issac, Lawrence. 大人は外出時、マスク必着!でないとポリスや治安部隊にひどい目に遭わされる可能性が‼  コロナよりも“怖い”とか!?! ガバメント敷地内は、出入りが制限されていて閑散としているため、ちょくちょく出没するヘビ対策に長靴も必要! 
Masks must be worn when going out or you may get in trouble with the police or the security forces.  Because access to government property is restricted and all is quiet, boots are essential to prevent being bitten by the snakes that often appear. 

”3勇士” が、生垣や植込み、石畳の雑草と格闘すること~時間!! Thanks to the battle of the “three heroes” with the hedges, shrubbery, and weeds between the paving stones,


the library grounds are neat and tidy.

上の作業日とは別の日、久しぶりにGinnery地区の子供たちが訪ねてきたそうです。ずいぶん大きくなっている様子‼! 全員、土間/ワラ屋根の家住まい、水道も無く、流水で手を洗えるような子たちではありません。なんとか無事でいてほしいです!
On another day, children from Ginnery came to visit for the first time in a while. They have grown a lot! They all live in homes with earthen floors and thatched roofs and cannot wash their hands in running tap water. So we hope they will stay safe. 
  Arop Joshua              Akello Sharon           Medina B2

(図書館塾生/Library pupil)        (P3)            (図書館塾生/Library pupil)

  Adong Rose (P2)        Canwat Brian(P2)




コロナの日々 その2 Coronavirus days (Part 2)

Kop Ango~?  ようやく解除ですね~but 当方ハイリスク高齢者ですので、まだ当分は自粛しようと思っています、歯医者だけは、診療再開するそうですので、治療再開しようと思ってますが、うつるのも、うつすのもマズいので、県境を越えて横浜の母や九州の親類などに会いに行くのもまだまだ・・・ガマン!
 Here in Japan the state of emergency has finally been lifted, but because we are high-risk senior citizens, we plan to continue to exercise self-restraint for a while longer. The dental clinic will start seeing patients again, though, so I plan to resume my treatment. But we mustn’t catch the virus or give it to someone else, so we still have to refrain from going out of the prefecture to visit my mother in Yokohama、Kanagawa Pref. and relatives in Kyushu for a while longer.


We received e-mail messages with a lot of pics from Emma who is a library staff member,  and from Fr.Anthony, our landlord. They are telling us about the situation in Kitgum.

Ktgでは、Emma(3月から大学に通うはずだったけど...)、Isaac(今夏,大学入学申し込み申請を考えていたけど...)、Lawrence(A.2,なので近々授業が再開され、今年秋の終わり頃、国のセカンダリー卒業統一試験を受験することになりそう...)たちが、時々子供たちの相手をしてくれたり、フェンス越しに図書館の様子を見に行ってくれたり、INtネットカフェで、メールをくれたり...有難いです。  In Kitgum Emma, who should have started university in March; Isaac, who was thinking about applying to university this summer; and Lawrence, whose A.2 classes will resume soon and who will probably be able to take the unified examination for secondary school graduation in late fall, sometimes play with the children, check on the situation at the library, and send us e-mail from an Internet café, for which we are grateful.

図書館                   私どものKitgumの宿

 They said that what with the travel ban, the closure of the borders and airports, and the strict restrictions on activities that carry penalties, so far there have been only 300 coronavirus cases and no deaths in Uganda. In Kitgum, people are allowed to move freely within the Kitgum District only from dawn ’til dusk and only on foot or by bicycle. Travel outside the district is only allowed as permitted by the security authorities for activities such as transporting daily necessities. Because there is a shortage of goods, prices have soared to 1.5 times the usual.

 At the primary school, seventh graders(P.7) have returned, and at the high school classes have resumed for students in Ordinary 4(O.4) and Advanced 2(A.2). This school year there are no students in those grades among those supported by the library. The other students have already been out of school for more than three months. Lessons are available via FM radio, but there is typically no electricity in the homes of our students or in their areas, so the children can’t take advantage of the lessons. Most of them have followed the government’s recommendation to evacuate to more rural villages where the likelihood of infection is lower and where food is readily available. The few children who remain in town sometimes come to see Emma and other staff members. (See photos.)


Aber Fortunate         Omara James            Pikica Marvine

Agenorwot Mercy Oyella     Aketowanga Beatrice




コロナの日々 / Coronavirus days

PS: 支援物資をお送り下さるという有難いお申し出もいただいていますが、上の様な状況で、いつ現地で受け取れるか、利用できるか見通しが立ちません。帰UGの日が決まりましたら、お知らせいたしますので、お待ちくださいますようどうぞお願いいたします。
 Time truly flies. One month has already passed since we returned to Japan for our annual visit home. As we are at high risk for serious complications from the coronavirus because of our age, we are refraining from going out. We have not seen my mother, who is even older, or any of our relatives or friends. So far neither we nor any of them has been infected.
 In Uganda few people have been infected with the coronavirus, and there have been no deaths. But there is no running water in the homes of the families of the children we support or in their neighborhoods. In light of the poor sanitation, we fear sooner or later the situation will be serious.
Neither the staff of the library nor the children who use it have access to the Internet, so we decided to send a letter to them. But, unlike the slow-moving government of Japan, Uganda has already banned the entry of foreigners and instituted a lockdown. The use of private vehicles has been prohibited, and public transport has been halted. International express mail will not be delivered, so we abandoned that idea.
 We already have our airline tickets to return to Uganda, but 1) we are banned from entering the country, 2) Emirates has canceled all flights (our return tickets are open with a one-year validity), and 3) even complacent Japan finally prohibited travel abroad. So, until these three circumstances change, we must remain in Japan and continue to pray that the children and others in Kitgum stay healthy and that their lives are spared.
 To all those reading this, please take care of yourselves too amid this crisis.
 One final note: Some people have kindly offered to send emergency supplies to the library, but because of the current situation, there is no way to know when we will be able to receive them there or if we will be able to use them. Once we know when we will be able to return to Uganda, we will notify you. So please wait until then.


毎日多くの来訪者がある県庁の敷地。部局ごとの多くの建物が散在。しかし、水道は敷地内に2か所の外付け蛇口があるだけ。清掃スタッフが管理し,彼女たちがお休みの時はロックされて使用不可。図書館の向いの立派な2階建て戦争ミュージアム。エアコンやWiFiといった設備が整ったこの建物内にも水道は無し! The grounds of KTG district government headquarters, which many people visit every day. Various departments are housed in the many buildings. But there are only two water faucets outside. When the cleaning staff in charge of the faucets is off work, the faucets are locked and cannot be used. The big building opposite the library is the National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre. Although it has air conditioning and Wi-Fi, there is no running water!


帰国直前の日曜日、一般の図書館利用者の列。上述の事情なので、開館日はいつも 右端に手洗い用の雨水利用のタンクを用意。 Patrons line up outside the library waiting to get in. This photo was taken the Sunday just before we left to return to Japan. Because of the water situation described above, when the library is open we put a large bottle of rainwater (seen at right) outside the library for people to wash their hands.


Ktgのバスパーク。K'laやGulu、さらに奥の村々に行き来する人々はここから乗り合いバス(ミニバンや小型トラック)で移動。“外出禁止令”が出て、今は、乗り物も人々の姿も消えたそうです。この広~いバスパークにも水道は一つもありません! This photo shows the bus station in Kitgum. People who want to travel to even more rural villages can catch buses (actually minivans or small trucks) here. But because of the lockdown, no vehicle and no one can be seen these days. No water is available at this big bus station either.)


 藁屋根+牛糞と泥の壁+土間…の支援子供たちの家々。水道も電気も無し、換気をする窓もありません。 Homes of several students who are receiving support from PR Africa are seen in these photos. They have thatched roofs, walls made of mud and cow dung, and earthen floors. They have no running water, electricity or windows for ventilation.




2020年1学期スタート!!  First term of the new school year starts

新しく就学支援を始める9人の家庭訪問の写真と制服姿をご覧下さい。( )内は,小学校で面接と英語と算数のテストの受け、決まった学年。

Take a look at these photos taken during visits to the homes of the nine students who will be newly supported by the library this year with the students in their new uniforms. The number in parentheses after each name indicates the grade that the children will enter based on interviews at the primary school and tests in English and arithmetic. In this area many families are poor and are headed by the mother, grandmother or an aunt because the father, who may or may not be living, is not present.

Ajok Scovia/アジョク スコヴィア(P.4)
, Anenocan Mirriam/アネノチャン ミリアム(P.4) 母のみ(mother only)

 Ajok Scovia/アジョク スコヴィア(P.4) 母のみ(mother only)

Aromorac Babra/アロモラチ バブラ(P.3), Lubangangeyo Stephenルバンガニェヨ スティーブン(P.2)

Laker Sunday/ラケー サンディ(P.3)

Amoi Robina/アモイ ロビナ(P.2)

Anenocan Mirriam/アネノチャン ミリアム(P.4) 母のみ(mother only) 

 Latabu Jacline/ラタブ ジャクリン(P.3) & Canwat Brian/チャンワット ブライアン(P.2) (従姉弟 母/伯母のみcousins, mother/aunt )

Aryemo Sunday/アリェモ サンディ(P.4) 母のみ(mother only)

Aromorac Babra/アロモラチ バブラ(P.3), Latabu Jacline, Laker Sunday/ラケー サンディ(P.3) 母のみ(mother only) 

Amoi Robina/アモイ ロビナ(P.2) 母のみ(mother only), Canwat Brian, Lubangangeyo Stephen/ルバンガニェヨ スティーブン(P.2) (姉弟 母のみsiblings, mother only)




新図書館、引き渡し式に続いて… New library handover ceremony (continued)

After the handover ceremony we wasted no time in holding a meeting for the students we support and began offering services to other children.

  2020年度1学期目前、いつもの“新学期スタートミーティング”を開催。今年も支援を継続する12人、今学期から新しく就学支援を始める9人とその保護者が対象。数名の子供本人や保護者は、田舎に行ったまま戻っていない、体調不良などで欠席ですが、出席者は新しく広~い建物で、ご覧のような笑顔、笑顔、です!!   Students receiving support from the library attend the annual meeting prior to the first term of the new school year. This year’s meeting was held for 12 students who will continue to receive support and nine more who will receive support for the first time as well as their guardians. A few children and their guardians were absent as they had not returned from the countryside or because they were ill, but those who attended were all smiles when they saw the big, new library building.

 Patrons line up to enter the new library the first Sunday after the handover ceremony, welcomed by the new sign made by last year’s volunteer Ayano. Children began forming a long line outside the library more than one hour before it opened. Unlike in the past when they sometimes had to wait for an hour outside, now they can come in right away because there’s plenty of room.

  今年度ピカピカの1年生の3人。初めての来館です。その後ろには、引き渡し式当日、亀田大使から頂戴した日本国外務省特製カレンダーが‼   Three new first-graders visit the library for the first time. The Foreign Ministry calendar given to the library by Ambassador Kameda on the day of the ceremony can be seen in the background.

  新図書館の目玉の一つ、幼児ルーム。今までは場所が無く、兄姉が本を読む間、狭い机の上でジ~ッとよいこしてるしかなかったのですが、ご覧のようにおもちゃで遊んだりお昼寝したり…おもらししても問題ナイ!?! スタッフが手すきの時は、一緒に遊んだり、絵本を読み聞かせたりもできます。
 The baby and toddler room is a special feature of the new library. Until now there was no place for them and they just had to behave on top of a small desk while their big brother or sister was reading. Now they can play with toys or take a nap. And if they wet their pants, it’s no problem! When staff members have the time, they can play with the babies and read picture books to them.

 Another nice feature of the new library is the large storage area. In the old library there was no place to organize or store things, so supplies and boxes of books were piled up here and there covered with dust. We’ve brought some of them to the new library and will organize them carefully so they are easily uses. If only we had more people…




新図書館、”引き渡し式” 挙行‼ New library handover ceremony held!!

大使館GGPスタッフの適切、かつ強力な主導により、“遅くても2月以内には…”との予想より1か月近く早くその日を迎えることができました!!  Kampalaから遠路ご臨席いただいた駐UG亀田大使は、スピーチの中で私どもの20年近くになる活動について温かいお言葉でご紹介下さいました。“By the end of February at the latest…” That was what we were told about the date of the ceremony for the handover of our new library. Thanks to the firm, effective leadership of the staff in charge of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) at the Japanese embassy in Uganda, that day arrived almost one month early. The Japanese ambassador to Uganda, Kameda Kazuaki, came all the way from Kampala to attend the ceremony and kindly acknowledged our nearly 20 years of work in Kitgum in his speech.


The new library looks brand new prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony after district government workers, PR Africa staff and the children all pitched in to clean it thoroughly for several days before the big event. Even the flags of Uganda and Japan look happy! Our new handmade sign made its debut at the entrance. Ambassador Kameda and a GGP staff member who accompanied the ambassador to the ceremony praised the sign saying, “I saw it on your blog! It’s great!”

銘板序幕 LC Chairman(県知事)、大使
The chairman of the Kitgum District local council and Ambassador Kameda unveil the plaque on the library.

学校組と図書館組両方からの子供代表とBaba Ogen。

Student leaders of the school and library groups pose in front of the new library with Baba Ogen. 




Apwoyo Katoo Mwaka~アプォヨ カド ムワカ~!!! Happy New Year~!!! 

《お手紙を手にオディ~》 と 《新図書館近況》

Children pose with letters & an update on the new library

走行距離25万キロオーバーの超オンボロクルマの修繕等々に手こずってる間に、1月も下旬になってしまいました! 1通また1通と皆様からのお手紙がご到着中~!! ンが、受取人(=子供たち)が、3学期終了後、クリスマス前後から、Ktgよりさらに奥の村々に行ったままなので、手渡しして写真を撮ることができません! 1か月以内位には、全員戻ってくることを期待していますが…。〈写真説明は全て左から右〉
Time flew while we dealt with having repairs done on our old, worn-out car, which has more than 250,000 km on it, and it’s already late January. Letters from you are coming in, but many of the recipients (children) have been in villages more remote than Kitgum since Christmastime after the end of the third term, so we haven’t been able to take pictures of them with your letters. We hope all of the children will return by the end of January, but for now here are five children saying “odi” (cheese) with the letters they have received.

Pikica Marvin(ピキチャ マーヴィンP.4⇒2月からP.5)とAgenorwot Mercy Oyella(アゲノルォット マーシー オイェラP.3⇒2月からP.4)

Pikica Marvin (fourth grade, fifth grade from February) and Agenorwot Mercy Oyella (third grade, fourth grade from February)

Laker Sunday(ラケー サンディ図書館塾生*) とAryemo Sunday(アリェモ サンディ図書館塾生*) Aketowanga Sarah(アケトワンガ  サラP.2⇒2月からP.3),

Laker Sunday and Aryemo Sunday (both students at the library*)  Aketowanga Sarah (second grade, third grade from February)

* 2020年度(来月2月スタート)から、就学支援生に加えようと内々候補にしている子供がこの2名を含めて図書館塾生の中に 5名ほどいます。これまで繰り返し保護者を交えて面談して絞ってきました。今後、家庭訪問し、LC(地域の民生リーダーたち)と意見交換し決定します。早く決めたいのですが、子供本人や保護者が田舎に行ったきりだったり、訪問を早めにしても、新学年スタートまでに、その家の事情が良くも悪くも急変し、事前準備に大変な手間ヒマをかけた家庭訪問や懇談が無駄になってしまったり、します。このロスを最小限にするため、できるだけギリギリに訪問、懇談を行います。*Five children who study at the library, including these two, are being considered for educational support from PRA when the new school year starts in February. These students were selected after several meetings at which their guardians were present. The final decision will be made after visits to their homes and discussions with the leaders of the local council. We would like to make a decision as soon as possible, but the children and their guardians sometimes go off to the countryside for a while. And even if we visit their homes in the near future, before the new school year starts their family circumstances may suddenly change for better or worse and the visits to the home and talks with the family, which require a lot of advance preparation, may be for naught. In order to minimize this waste of time and effort, the visits and talks will be conducted as close to the start of the school year as possible.

Left: 銘板〈左奥〉と UG国旗と日の丸掲揚用のポールとBaba Ogen。Plaque (background, left), flagpoles for the flags of Uganda and Japan, and Baba Ogen.

Right: 銘板〈左端〉とポール2本。大理石の銘板には、“THIS LIBRARY WAS CONSTRUCTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN ……この図書館は日本政府からの支援で建設された……”等々と刻まれています。“引き渡し式”に向け、少しづつ準備が進んでいます。 Plaque (far left) and flagpoles. The inscription on the marble plaque states: “This library was constructed with support from the government of Japan.” Preparations for the handover ceremony are being made.