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Lightning struck five children of Simbili Primary School in Oleba Sub-County, Maracha District, in a nearby grass-thatched house where they had taken shelter from the rain. An eyewitness related that they were struck as they played in the house.
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Director's note - Tell your story/Ask your question - Announcements
 More Lightning Injury Reports
Resources on Lightning - Videos and Websites
        Director's Note 

Thank you all for the many (all positive) comments and notes we received after the last newsletter. 

This newsletter will be mailed as ACLENet leaders travel to ICLP2018 meeting in Poland to meet with our Board of Directors, Research Advisers and present three papers on lightning injury and what ACLENet is doing in Africa.

As promised in the last newsletter, we will use this space to examine common beliefs about lightning. Last month we noted that victims of lightning are not dangerous to touch because THEY DO NOT RETAIN ANY ELECTRICAL CHARGE. 

This month, let's examine beliefs about animals hit by lightning. Some say vultures and other scavengers (hyenas, lions, etc) will not touch an animal killed by lightning. Some hypothesize that the meat is more bitter, that there is an odor (ozone?) produced by the strike, or other things that would deter predation. None of these have been studied scientifically and there are testimonials both ways. However, there is no evidence that what someone eats or their body chemistry will affect lightning's path.   

Thanks to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS - the people who also train the space station astronauts), the 'Myth Crushers' and John Gookin, PhD and an ACLENet Research Adviser, for their great video below. John has set up this gutter/ground current system at many conferences and I can testify that it is quite 'shocking' to stick your fingers in the wet sand!

Tell your story
We invite you to
share your lightning story or question
with thousands of readers worldwide
with a focus on the African continent.
We will do our best
to publish your story
or question along with comments from our worldwide pool of lightning experts.

A dairy farmer in Rushozi Sub-county Mbarara district in Uganda, Mr. Enock, reports a prevailing belief in his area - that cows killed by lightning bring 'bad omen' if eaten.
 On August 16, 2018, we visited this  area of western Uganda where lightning deaths are common.  People there told us that eating the meat of cows killed by lightning will bring down more storms with lightning to injure people during the rainy season. People close to sites of lightning deaths use a local herb ''Mululuza'', [Vernonia amygdalina Delile] to prevent more deaths from lightning.  This herb is also used for diabetes and a number of other ailments, either brewed as tea, pounded into a paste for putting on the skin or chewed.
The ICLP2018 conference continues ICLP's tradition of offering a platform to exchange scientific and technical information related to lightning research and lightning protection.
Lightning is a major hazard to people in Africa but only a few of the 55 countries in Africa have collected data about the number of deaths and injuries in their country. 
News Reports of Lightning Injuries
This year, the second season of rains has begun in Africa, but less lightning than usual also means fewer injuries reported. 
Unfortunately, the first injured were children
(see reports in banner above and below).
Lightning kills 9 year old, injures another in Muleba District - Tanzania. August 24, 2018
Lightning strike kills four in western Rwanda.  Rwanda Department of Disaster Management says 11 were killed in different parts of Rwanda.
August 29, 2018
Theft of lightning conductors in Entebbe schools worries authorities [Uganda]
August 3, 2018

Thefts like this occur all over the world, not just in Africa, and are the reason we avoid using copper or other 'valuable' metals for lightning protection in schools.  Less expensive (and less likely to be stolen) metals can be chosen that are still code-compliant. Materials that can be locally sourced also help us avoid expensive import and shipping fees.

NOLS MythCrushers Episode 3: Lightning

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