Deadly Scourge of Lightning Strikes in Uganda

Deadly Scourge of Lightning Strikes in Uganda
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Lightning Strikes Claim Lives Across Uganda: A Growing Concern

In a tragic incident, lightning struck two pupils, including a Primary Seven candidate, at Okamar Primary School in Katine parish, Abarilela sub-county, Amuria district. This heart-wrenching event occurred during a light shower at 5:00 pm on a Sunday evening, as the children were fetching water at the Abul village borehole area.

The victims of this unfortunate incident were identified as Phoebe Apolot, a Primary Seven candidate, and Boniface Onyait, a Primary Four pupil, both attending Okamar Primary School. The report was confirmed by Ocal parish councillor Cyrus Apuda in an interview in with a local newspapers.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Lightning strikes have claimed multiple lives in Uganda over the course of this year, raising concerns and prompting efforts to mitigate this natural threat. Lightning, a deadly force of nature, is often unpredictable and can have devastating consequences, especially in regions with minimal infrastructure to prevent such incidents.

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Lightning Strikes in Uganda – A Disturbing Trend

Date Location Fatalities
September 5, 2023 Yumbe district 2 children
September 5, 2023 Lira city 1 teenager
March 16, 2023 Rukungiri district 2 family members
March 12, 2023 Rubanda district 3 family members
August 2020 Ayivu division 10 boys


As demonstrated in the table above, there have been several instances of lightning strikes resulting in multiple casualties in Uganda this year. These incidents emphasize the urgent need for increased awareness, preparedness, and measures to protect individuals from the unpredictable and destructive force of lightning.

The Yumbe District Tragedy – September 5, 2023

In the Yumbe district, a double tragedy occurred when lightning struck two children dead in Indriyo village, Paladru parish, Drajini sub-county. The victims, Zaidin Ayub (5 years old) and Bangutu (9 years old), were in a kitchen with two other children when the lightning struck, tragically taking their lives.

Despite efforts to rush the children to Lodonga Health Centre IV, they sadly passed away before reaching medical assistance.

Rukungiri District – March 16, 2023

On March 16, 2023, a lightning strike took the lives of two family members in Rukungiri district. Enoth Tukwasibwe (30 years old) and his mother, Jolly Baryakabuza (75 years old), both residents of Keita Village in Nyabitete Parish, Bugangari sub-county, were struck by lightning.

Rubanda District – March 12, 2023

In Rubanda district, residents of Rwamuyoora village were shocked and fearful as lightning claimed the lives of a father and his two sons during an afternoon downpour. Ambrose Kanunu (35 years old) was in the main house with his two sons, Justus Asiimwe (7 years old) and Arnold Habomugisha (5 years old), when the incident occurred.

Ayivu Division – August 2020

In a horrifying incident dating back to August 2020, lightning killed ten boys aged between 13 and 15 at a football pitch in Gbulukua cell, Ayivu division. The boys sought refuge from heavy rain in a nearby grass-thatched house, which was subsequently struck by lightning.

These distressing events emphasize the importance of implementing safety measures and educational initiatives to minimize the impact of lightning strikes in Uganda. Lightning strikes remain a growing concern, and it is crucial to raise awareness about the risks and precautions to safeguard lives.

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