Sixteen pupils of Kifumura Primary school in Buhanika Sub County in Hoima District have been admitted to hospital after lightning struck them.
The most affected are primary four and primary six pupils, the school’s deputy head teacher, Mr Alex Kusiima said.
It happened during a heavy down pour that started shortly after the pupils reported to school in the morning, eyewitnesses said.
Mr Stephen Mugisa Rujumba who was conducting a science lesson in Primary four was also not spared in an incident that occurred at about 12.40pm on Friday.
“I heard a big blast. It was like my head had been hit with a metal. I got intense pain,” Rujumba told this reporter.
He lost consciousness but later woke up only to see some pupils collapsed.
“I called in other teachers and pupils. We started lifting out those who were unconscious,” he added.
Teachers and parents made distress calls to Hoima District authorities and police who rushed to the school and transported the pupils to Hoima regional referral hospital. Some were vomiting, staggering while others were unconscious.
This reporter found medical workers at Hoima referral hospital’s casualty section attending to the affected children.
The pupils include Hamida Nagawa, Raphael Akugizibwe, Peter Tibemanya, Vincent Nikuma, William Ayebale, Rosemary Bainomugisa and Komugisa Prisca who were admitted at the hospital when they were unconscious.
Others are Bruhan Isingoma,12, Mariam Basemera,10, Marion Kobusinge,11, Rukia Nakacwa,11,Rita Nyakato,15,Yohana Sunday,13,Nicholas Ayebale,10,Katusabe Prosca,11.
The Buhanika Sub County chairperson Mr Jamil Kasangaki, said the lightning struck and killed a goat and a cow belonging to Mr Joseph Kiiza in Kifumura II village.
The Hoima District vice chairperson Mr Benson Ciche who rushed to the school and participated in transporting the sick to hospital said government should prioritize providing lightning arrestors in all schools.
“This is something we should give priority because lightning is a common occurrence these days. Government should look at it as a disaster,” Ciche said.
He said the common incidents of lightning and storms could be a result of climatic changes that are caused by rampant deforestation and wetland reclamation.
“It is high time we started massive afforestation and protecting forests and wetlands because the negative impacts of climate change are affecting us already,” he added.