Parents Want Lightning Arrestors Installed in Schools.
In order to prevent deaths, parents in Kakamega county are requesting the state to put lightning arrestors in schools and sensitive public locations.
The county is notorious for its severe rainfall and fatal lightning strikes.
Lightning has caused dozens of deaths and the destruction of millions of dollars worth of property.
Parents have demanded the reinstatement of the Moi-era system that required all vulnerable public schools to be outfitted with powerful lightning arrestors.
Musa Shundu, chairman of the Isukha council of elders, requested the county and national governments on Wednesday to set aside resources for the purchase and installation of the equipment as soon as feasible.
He stated that during the presidency of Daniel Moi, all rural schools in storm-prone locations were equipped with lightning arrestors.
“Back then, it was unheard off that someone had been struck by lightning, unlike now. We believe such equipment will save lives,” Shundu said.
According to the elder, lightning strikes and kills people every single month.
In addition, he stated that facilities that benefited from the lightning apparatus were vandalized and plundered by unscrupulous individuals.
The perpetrators, according to Shundu, will take the mercury used to power the arrestors.
He stated that the government should purchase and secure the necessary equipment to prevent vandalism.
“The main problem was looting because the equipment was easily accessible. However, we know there are ways of securing the devices,” Shundu said.
The fact that they have been vandalized in the past should not prevent their installation.
According to community leader Solomon Alushula, at least two lightning strikes are reported daily.
“And this are just the ones around here. We know there are many others beyond Kakamega and outside Western,” he said.
Alushula urged Kakamega Governor Fernandez Barasa to allocate funds for the procurement and installation of lightning arrestors in order to reduce the number of student deaths in the region.
In 2018, a student at the Ebushibo Primary School in Navakholo was struck by lightning and killed.
Another student from Eshienga Primary School was wounded while playing.
In 2017, five children from the same hamlet in Lugari were killed by lightning while playing in the playground of the St. Luke Lumakanda Secondary School in Tekoa.