LOCATION: Kampala, Uganda | PROJECT LAUNCHED: 2014
- Kyambogo University
PROJECT OVERVIEW & UPDATES
When the rain started that afternoon at the Runyanya Primary school in rural western Uganda, it was time to go home. Instead, the children watched through classroom windows as the tropical downpour turned the dirt roads into muddy rivers. That was when lightning struck the school, killing 20 of the youngsters and injuring almost 100 more.
Sadly, this is not a rare occurrence in Uganda. Located on the Equator in Central Africa, the nation has one of the highest rates of lightning strike deaths in the world. Kampala, the capital, has an average of 280 thunderstorms a year. Moreover, meteorologists think that climate change is affecting extreme weather conditions – increasing the likelihood of even more lightning strikes.
In Kampala, engineering students at Kyambogo University realized the critical need to develop, produce and install lightning arresters – a proven method to reduce lightning strikes – in Ugandan schools and other buildings. LOG’EL PROJECT, a local non-profit organization that encourages talented technologists – young people, especially – to prosper through innovation, joined with the university students and agreed to help coordinate the project.