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Lightning strike kills two minors in Rubanda

Rubanda, (UG): Residents of Kilwa village in Kiruruma Ward, Kacherere Town Council in Rubanda District were Friday gripped in shock after a lightning strike killed two children in a heavy downpour in the area.

Treasure Arinda, a 13-year-old son of Vincent Wednesday and a Primary Five pupil at Kacherere Primary School, and Elia Mwebesa, also 13 years old and son of Patrick Barigye were fatally struck while collecting firewood near their homes.

Mr Ernest Rwamirengye, the Kilwa village LC1 Vice Chairman, described the incident as a very unfortunate one which has robbed the village of the lives of very young ones who would be leaders of tomorrow.

Mr David Bitakaramire, the grandfather of the children, expressed shock and a desire for the government to investigate why Kigezi experiences frequent lightning incidents. He called for necessary advisory measures to mitigate this recurring issue.

Mr Elly Maate, the Kigezi Regional police spokesperson, confirmed the incident and said police took the bodies of the minors for further postmortem and later handed them to relatives for burial arrangements.

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“We picked up the bodies of the deceased minor, conducted postmortems and then handed them over to the relatives for funeral arrangements. It’s a very unfortunate incident,” Mr Maate said.

The Kigezi sub-region has a history of lightning-related fatalities. In March 2023, Ambrose Kanunu, 35, and his sons Justus Asiimwe, 7, and Arnold Habomugisha, 5, from Rwamuyora village, Nyarurambu parish, Muko sub-county in the same district, met a similar fate.

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Other incidents in December 2022, September 2021, and earlier in April 2018, in various villages within the Rubanda and Kanungu districts claimed many lives, highlighting the recurring nature of this issue in the region.

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