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Two children struck dead and 11 injured by lightning in West Pokot

By Irissheel Shanzu | Jul 11th 2016 | 2 min read

Two children were over the weekend struck dead and 11 injured by lightning.

The Saturday afternoon incident that occurred during a heavy downpour also left  a grass-thatched house in ashes.

The lightning also killed a calf that had been sheltered in the house.

Kapkanyuk village in Lelan ward, West Pokot County, was plunged into mourning by the death of the two children.

Lelan ward MCA Paul Yaraki said the two boys aged 15 and 13 were sheltering in the house together with the 11 people who suffered injuries.

"A calf was also within the kitchen of the house. Immediately the lightning struck, the whole house went up in flames, burning the two boys and the calf. The rest managed to escape but with injuries," said Mr Yaraki.

He said the children were burnt beyond recognition and the injured were rushed to Kaibichbich Hospital where they were admitted.

"Some sustained slight injuries while others escaped with major injuries. Fatal lightning incidents have become rampant. The Government should urgently step in and erect lightning arrestors to curb risks in the future," he added.

He said on the same day in the morning, another lightning had struck and burnt a house in the same village.

He added that in a span of 10 years, lightning had struck more than six times in the same village, causing loss of lives and livestock.

"It has become a rampant phenomenon in my ward. For how long shall we continue losing people? The county government should put up arrestors without further delay," he said.

Surprisingly, the county government bought lightning arrestors three months ago but it is yet to install them. The ward is more prone to lightning than any other area in the county.

"The arrestors are just lying at the governor's office. What are they waiting for? Are they waiting for more deaths before they intervene? The deputy governor who is in charge of disaster management should visit the affected families," said Yaraki.

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