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Ten Dead In Greater Kabale Districts As Lightning Strikes Claim Lives

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Ten Dead in Greater Kabale Districts as Lightning Strikes Claim Lives The New Light Paper

Greater Kabale districts, comprising Kabale, Kisoro, Rubanda, and Rukiga, have witnessed a disturbing rise in lightning-related fatalities, with over ten people losing their lives in just one month, warns the African Centre for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENET).

Barnabas Akantambira, the country coordinator for ACLENET, expressed deep concern over the increasing number of people struck by lightning in the region. In a conversation with Nile Post, Akantambira highlighted that the Greater Kabale area has recorded ten fatalities since the beginning of the year.

One tragic incident occurred on February 6 when one-year-old Paul Ahebwa was struck by lightning while in his bed. In separate incidents a day earlier in Kisoro district, 18-year-old Florence Twizerimana and 63-year-old Flora Nyarandabazi lost their lives due to lightning strikes.

Not only have human lives been affected, but on January 15, six cows and 12 sheep owned by Fred Ishungisa, a farmer from Ntugamo village in Katenga parish, Kaharo sub-county of Kabale district, were also struck dead by lightning.

Akantambira stressed the urgency of raising awareness about lightning and dispelling myths surrounding it. He called for government intervention to provide protection measures for the population and urged locals to install lightning conductors on their buildings.

Nelson Tumushabe, the meteorological officer for Kabale district, linked the increasing cases of lightning to climate change. He suggested that the mineral-rich nature of Kigezi might be attracting lightning. Tumushabe emphasized the importance of installing lightning conductors on houses and wearing shoes with rubber soles for personal safety.

Environmental activist Byamukama Simon attributed the situation to the changing atmospheric composition caused by human activities like industrialization. According to Simon, increased pollutants, especially carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, have altered atmospheric gases, leading to more lightning incidents. He called for public sensitization and awareness campaigns.

Nicholas Kamara, the MP for Kabale Municipality, acknowledged the natural occurrence of lightning but emphasized the need for public education on installing lightning conductors for protection. He suggested that government efforts should focus on educating the public about the purpose and benefits of lightning conductors on buildings.

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