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Lubero - Democratic Republic of the Congo
As the rains started in Africa, ten people were reported dead across the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an article published 18 October 2021. 
Three deaths occurred in Miriki, two in Mihobwe, and another died from her injuries near Kayina. Civil authorities reported four more killed in other locations. 

Apart from this human damage, there were reports of two houses damaged by lightning caused fires and more than ten goats killed by lightning in Miriki. 

Hurdles in Promoting Lightning Safety across Africa
Disaster Prevention vs Disaster Response
 
Readers of this newsletter know that when the rainy season begins in Africa, deaths and injuries from lightning begin to skyrocket as well.
Our lead story is about the deaths of almost a dozen people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Another devastating story from Zambia relates how an entire family, a mother and her four children were killed when lightning hit their thatch covered home, setting it ablaze. 

 How do we prevent these tragedies?

Lightning injury prevention depends on:
1. High quality weather forecasts that are readily available to the public.
2. Public education that informs and changes behaviors of those most at risk.
3. Effective early warning systems when lightning threatens.
4. Availability of 'lightning safe' structures where people can take shelter during thunderstorms.
5. Disaster response that aids the communities and individuals with disaster recovery.

All of these contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Recovery.
Not all disasters can be prevented, but the risk of injury and damage can often be decreased with pre-planning and education. Effective disaster management and response can aid in recovery of the communities and fmailies involved. 

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030) is an international document that was adopted by the United Nations member states in March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. While nearly 80% of African countries have Disaster Management Units (DMUs) of various shapes and sizes, it should be recognized that it takes a lot of time to build capacity within these DMUs to deliver quality public services, particularly in countries with poor infrastructure, low literacy, deep poverty, and sometimes civil unrest.

The hurdles to DRR for lightning may seem insurmountable, but ACLENet, along with many wonderful volunteers and generous donors, is chipping away at these hurdles, little by little every day from several directions.

In addition to providing lightning protection for schools, ACLENet provides public education a number of ways. This summer, a Rotary Club in the Netherlands gave ACLENet a grant to translate and broadcast a public service announcement (PSA) on lightning safety into Luganda, the most common language used in rural Uganda where the risk is the highest. Fortuitously, New Vision, the main media outlet in Uganda, translated and dubbed the PSA for us for free, so we can now use all of the Rotary grant to pay for broadcasting.
See both PSA versions at this link. 

We are working with the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness in Uganda to have these messages declared a 'public-good' to reduce the broadcasting cost by 80-90% so that we can do even more.

It is a journey we invite all forces for good to join.
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LIGHTNING MYTHS AND FOLKLORE
Thunder and the gods among the Maasai (Kenya)
Once there were two gods: the black god and the red god. The black god was humble, kind and loving, while the red god was malevolent and did not care about people at all. These gods lived together way up in heaven, but the black god lived below the red god so was closer to the people on earth.

   One day, famine and drought spread all over the world. The black god spoke to the red god saying, "Let us give people water for they are about to starve to death." The red god had no liking for people, but after much pleading from the black god, he relented, and water was released from heaven to earth. It rained very hard for many days. After some time, the red god said to the black god: "You can now hold back the water, for the people have had enough." 

A few more days went by and the black god once more asked the red god to release water for the people. When the red god refused, an argument started between them, with the red god threatening to wipe out all the people, whom he described as spoiled, and the black god struggling to prevent him doing so.

And so, up to this day, when one hears loud thunder, it is the red god who is trying to get past the black god to wipe out the people on earth. But when the sound of thunder is not very loud, it is the black god who is trying to prevent the red god from killing the people.
Read more
Help ACLENet Save Lives
African Lightning Events Reported in October
Lightning Kills 5 people from the same family
Zambia

5 October 2021
Read more
4 dead during a rain in Miriki
DRC
16 October 2021
Read more
Two die from lightning at Manoaha near Kpetoe
Ghana

20 October 2021
Read more
Lightning kills and injures several people
Guinea

22 October 2021
Read more
Lightning kills a young man and injures another in Kapeyel in the commune of
Linkéring
Senegal

23 October 2021
Read more
Webinar hosted by CoCoRaHS HQ where lightning expert Ron Holle presents: "Lightning and Its Impacts"
Click here for an interactive WORLD MAP of LIGHTNING
If you keep moving into the US map, you can get down to the state/county level of lightning for the contiguous 48 states
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