Reports Leo Odera Omolo.
In an African society the arrival of the new rains season after along spell of the biting drought is regarded and viewed as good and promising the rural farming community of a bumper grain harvesting in the near future and food security.
However, the latest of the current short rains in many parts of Western Kenya has brought with it a lot of natural calamities and tragedies leaving many villagers in mourning mood.
Two male students were struck dead at Chepkemei Secondary School when they were struck by the thunderbolt early this week. Tragedy occurred on Monday at about 4.30 PM. It was during the game time when students were preparing themselves to go home after the day long classroom work.
Nan di County is laying about 200 kilometers north west of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and in the highlands west of the Rift Vally. It left ten other students injured and were admitted at the Moi Teaching and Referral hospital in Eldoret Town.
The Principal of the school was quoted in the local media as having said that this was the first incident of it its kind to be experienced. He said, however, that the tragedy had robbed the school two of its brightest students. The bodies of the victims were taken away to the morgue after their parents had been informed.
Within 30 kilometers away at Soy Primary in the neighboring Kakamega Count , 30 primary school pupils were injured when the lightning struck their classes. The affected pupils were in standard seven and eight. The tragedy occurred during games time and late afternoon downpour at about 5.P.M local time.
The pupils were outside in the field playing, but dashed back to clash rooms for shelter when the rains began with storms. The head teacher Wafula Nyongesa said that many pupils were now keeping out of the school due to fears. They are scared to death and unwilling to enter into their classrooms, something which could adversely interfere with their performance.
Last year ten people were killed when the thunderbolt struck in West Pokot also located in Western Kenya. The regions are prone to lightning attack, mostly during the short rains seasons which begins in August and ends in December.
Many parts of Western Kenya regions do experience thunderstorms every year, with Kisii County leading the pack, followed by Nandi, Busia, Kakamega, Uasin Gishu, SiayaI, MIgori ,Kericho, Trans-Mara Narok and Migori.
About ten years ago, the retired President Daniel Arap Moi had initiated the crash programme for the installation of lightning arrestors in schools buildings and in all other public institutions
Zimbabwe is leading the rest of Africa in lightning death at an annual rate of 280 followed by Zambia at about 186 annually. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia followed with the number being put relatively at below 100 annually.
In some community lightning incidents are always associated with witchcrafts.