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Gallery of Schools

Runyanya Primary School, Central Uganda - Injuries at this school catalyzed ACLENet's formation

Runyanya Primary School is located in Central Uganda

Runyanya Primary School is government public institution located in Kikube parish, Kiryandongo sub county, Kiryandongo district of Uganda, 210km (130 miles) north of Kampala (GPS 391943.4, 209811.4). On the 28th June 2011, 18 children died instantly and 36 others were injured when lightning struck the school during a downpour. The pupils were in their classrooms waiting for the downpour to subside before going home. 

This incident happened only months before Richard Tushemereirwe and Mary Ann Cooper, co-founders of ACLENet, met at a NAM S&T meeting on lightning in Nepal in 2011. On learning of this incident, they pledged to each work together to change the risk of death and injury from lightning across Africa. 

After lightning protection (LP) was installed at Runyanya, the Head Teacher wrote to tell us that the 2011 deaths caused enrollment to fall from about 600 to 400 because parents were afraid to send their children to school. After LP installation, enrollment rose to above 800 pupils as families felt safe sending their children to school. Current enrollment is 426 boys and 418 girls with 16 full time staff members.

Less than a decade before, lightning had hit Runyanya, throwing Nurse Mary, at the school giving immunizations, through a window into the courtyard. Mary helped us investigate a simmilar incident where 3 children were killed and dozens others injured at Mongoyo School for which designs are currently being drawn. 

Gerrit Hendrik Meyer and Kirk Risch, from  DEHN-Africa (South Africa) and pictured in some of the photos below, were selfless in their support of this project, designing the Lightning Protection Systems (LPS), traveling to Uganda more than once to train our staff of engineers and installers and to work on the installations themselves for the three schools (Runyanya, Buramba and Nkurungiro) in our first wave of 'Lightning Kills! Save a Life in Africa' campaign in 2016 and 2017.

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