New earthing technology to help check lightning strikes

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KAMPALA | A local equipment procurement firm has partnered with a Spain’s smart earthing and lightning applications developers, popularly known as AT3W, to boost efforts to check lightning strikes in the country.

Libitco Technical Supplies Uganda Ltd says through installation of enhanced technology in earthing and lightning provided by the AT3W experts in security solutions against electrical storms, they will drastically cub instances of lightning strikes.

At least a dozen people, the majority of them from western parts of the country, have been killed by lightning strikes this year alone.

Several head of cattle has also been lost to the unpredictable natural disaster.

The AT3W smart earthing and smart lightning technology is a digital upgrade to the antiquated technology of the lightning rod.

The technology involves smart earthing monitoring system, thunderstorm detection and real-time lightning strike alert and registration system.

During the workshop at Hotel Africana on Tuesday, Eng Edward Ssimbwa, commissioner of public structures at the Ministry of Works and Transport, said the technology will reduce on the operational cost of companies since it’s easier to use and time-saving.

“We also offer free training about this technology especially to the engineers and architects,” Simbwa said.

Nik Sweeting, the commercial manager of AT3W, said they have brought this smart solution to lightning in Uganda through Libitco but have implemented it in different countries.

The director of Libitco Uganda, Chris Tumwine, encouraged architects, engineers and contractors to adapt the new technology because this is a digital world.

This technology will reduce on the operational cost of companies since it’s easier to use and time saving.

According to the Lightning and Electromagnetics Network, a local nonprofit organisation dedicated to decreasing deaths, injuries and property damage from lightning, at least 16 incidents of lightning strikes were recorded last year.

At least 29 deaths were reported in the incidents. The figures do not include for those who could have succumbed to injuries later or animals killed by the deadly natural phenomenon.

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