Lightning loophole

The DEO of Gulu District, Reverend Vincent Ocheng, today advised all schools to ensure that they are adhering to the law requiring their buildings have lightning conductors installed.

But Ocheng confirmed that a loophole in the 2008 Ministry of Education and Sport guidelines to UPE means that not all schools are legally required to do so.

School buildings built before July 2008 are exempt from the requirement.

But Ocheng recommended that all schools address the issue as soon as possible after a spate of lightning strikes that have killed over 20 people in the country, and hospitalized 3 students in the district in the last 2 weeks.

His statement comes in the wake of Education Minister Jessica Alupo’s announcement yesterday that she will carry out a national audit to see which of the country’s schools don’t have conductors.

Ocheng stated that such a statistic is currently unknown for Gulu District.

District schools are expected to foot the bills for the conductors, but the DEO stated that he will lobby partners like UNICEF, Save the Children and World Vision for supplementary funding.

The installation of a lightning conductor ranges anywhere from 650,000 to two million shillings depending on the quality.

Ocheng also advised that as of Monday, all parents should supply their children with rubber-soled shoes not only as a preventative against lightning, but also disease.