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School struck by lightning does not have arrestors

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One of the pupils who survived lightning receives treatment at Kampala International Hospital in Ishaka Town. PHOTO BY ZADOCK AMANYISA 

By Zadock Amanyisa

Posted  Sunday, July 27  2014 at  14:04

In Summary

The pupils were in class when lightning struck them together with their teacher.

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Bushenyi.

Buramba Primary School in Bushenyi-Ishaka Municipality where eight pupils were struck dead by lightning had no lightning arrestors.
Seventeen other pupils and a teacher were injured by the strike on Thursday.
They were admitted to Kampala International University Teaching Hospital in Ishaka Town.
The head teacher, Ms Peace Kyobutungi, said erecting lightning arrestors was once discussed in the Parents Teachers Association meeting but the idea was abandoned because it was expensive.
She said one lightning arrestor costs about Shs1.2 million.
Bushenyi Resident District Commissioner Isaac Kawooya appealed to the government through the Disaster Preparedness ministry, for help.
“It is a government policy to erect lightning arrestors on public and private buildings but it has never been implemented. We have been advocating that the government buys arrestors for public structures and helps private entrepreneurs purchase them at subsidised prices, but nothing has been done,” Mr Kawooya said.
He, however, also wondered how parents and school proprietors who can construct buildings at Shs50 million cannot afford Shs2 million to install lightning arrestors.
Ms Kyobutungi said the pupils were in class when lightning struck during a downpour at around 4pm.
She said she heard a loud bang outside her office and heard teachers screaming for help as lightning had struck Primary Six and Seven classrooms.
“I rushed outside and found eight pupils already dead and others with their teacher Mr Adson Nagaba were crying for help. I called for a vehicle to carry the victims to the hospital,” she said. Six pupils in P7 and two in P6 died.
Those who are admitted are Bridget Ninsiima, Udith Asiimwe, Sheilla Nuwasiima, Charity Amutuhaire, Annitah Amutuhaire, Praise Niwasiima, Viola Kabagahi, Annitah Tukamuheebwa, Danson Amwine, Maureen Nampa, Olivia Nampa, another one identified only as Sylivia.
Mr Adson Nagaba, a Primary Seven teacher, who was in class at the time is also admitted.
Nyabubare Sub-county councillor Peace Tibakuna said government and parents should share the cost of installing lightning arrestors in schools to avoid future tragedies.
Early this month, lightning hit Bunyarigi Primary School in the municipality but no pupil died although six were injured.

those who died

Name Class
AbimAston Mukama, P7
Junior Nuwahereza, P 7
Danson Nuwamanya, P 7
Hilary Tumusiime, P 7
Agnes Muhisenta, P 7
Grace Ainembabazi P 7
Comfort Akampurira P 6
Annitah Nuwandinda P 6

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