Bugala island alone, the largest and main of the 84 islands that make up the District is hit by lightning more than 5 times a year destroying equipment used in the generation of power, water and ferry transport.
Kalangala district is struggling
to mitigate effects of lightning that hits several parts of the District regularly.
Bugala island alone, the largest and main of the 84 islands that make up the
District is hit by lightning more than 5 times a year destroying equipment used
in the generation of power, water and ferry transport.
The lightning has oftentimes
affected key installations like the hybrid solar-thermal power plant that
generates and transmits 1.6 megawatts of electricity all over Bugala Island,
the water systems, the four ferries that ply to and from Kalangala and the Oil
Palm Uganda Limited Mills in Kalangala. Other affected installations are the
fish processing plants and household items that are usually destroyed by a
strike of lightning.
Last week, installations and
household items worth 80 million Shillings were hit and destroyed by lightning. This prompted the district leadership to call for the institution
of Lightning arresters and a Lightening tower in Kalangala to prevent any
further harm from the strikes.
This, according to Wolongolo Aggrey, an electrical engineer in
the District is because the district is Rocky with limited soil aeration to
immediately conduct electricity and power.
Wolongolo says that despite all
efforts to contain lightning in Kalangala, the topography of the Island
District remains the biggest challenge which can only be solved with the
institution of a lightening tower to arrest lightning expected in an area in a 30-kilo meter radius.
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He says that in areas such as
those that are used in power generation like at the Bukuzindu solar -thermal
power plant, several lightning arrestors have been put in place and the problem
was managed to a larger extent.
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Lodvic Kiberu, the officer in
Charge of Finance and Business Development in the district told Uganda Radio
Network that the natural occurrence mostly affects business entities and, in
the long, makes organizations inefficient.
"We need action to be taken,
we need more lightning conductors and other measures to ensure there is
deterrence of such harm," says Kiberu.
The District leadership in 2017
passed a resolution to prioritize the acquisition of lightning arresters to
prevent harm by lightning. The district council also passed a resolution to
have up to 5 per cent of the locally generated revenue used to buy the
lightning arresters in the next five years. However, none has been purchased so