Deadly Lightning in Uganda
Tuesday, July 12th
Eighteen students and one teacher lost their lives at Runyanya Primary School in Western Uganda on June 29, 2011. School had ended for the day, but the students and staff delayed their return home because of the tremendous amount of rain brought by the storm. The school seemed to be a safe place to wait for the weather to clear up. Outside the red clay would be slippery and dangerous to walk on while it was still raining. However, instead of providing safety and security, the school was the most dangerous place to be. It lacked a lightning rod and was located on high ground. In addition to the loss of life, more than 40 students suffered injuries when lightning struck the building.
That school isnít alone in the devastation; as more than 40 people have been killed by the recent lightning storms across Uganda. The anticipated rain had initially been welcomed, bringing much needed water for the farmers. Now, the storms are being feared while people are waiting to see where they will strike next. It is unclear how long the current weather system will last, although itís been reported that the next few weeks will bring more electrical storms. Sources also indicated the storms may become more common as the weather patterns change in Uganda.
It is common for schools throughout Uganda to be built on high ground and operate without the protection of a simple lightning rod. That combination makes them a natural target for lightning and a hazardous place for children and their teachers. As a result, we may see more schools damaged in the weeks to come. While none of the children that have been lost in these storms are connected to Childcare Worldwide, we are acting proactively and installing lightning rods to keep children safe. At a cost of $400 each, we are planning to install a sufficient number of lightning rods to protect the children in our care. We hope you will be able to partner with us to provide a safe environment for the children in our schools and villages.
Please pray for safety as the rainy season continues and please give to help keep children safe.
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Childcare Worldwide (CCW), formerly, Childcare International (CCI) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Contributions are fully tax deductible.