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Design, Construction And Installation Of Uganda National Infrasound Network Project

The project is aimed at Design Construction and Installation of Uganda National Infrasound Network (DCIUNIN). DCIUNIN will further Establish Infrasound Network Infrastructure in line with the Uganda Vision 2040, Build capacity in infrasound research for social economic development and population’s security, Enable vulnerable communities install corrective measure against lightning strikes and Advise government on a comprehensive national strategy for adaptation and mitigation systems. The project commenced in FY 2016/17) and has completed now two years with good performance on the development of infrastructure and public awareness about geohazards.
The project has focused on the infrasound infrastructure development, vulnerability assessment, public education and awareness in response to geo-hazards especially seismic and lightning risk in the country. The project also procured necessary inputs and other procurements of specialized quipment for infrasound infrastructure are ongoing.
The project findings indicate that about 80% is highly vulnerable to lightning risk. Lightning and geo-hazards vulnerability studies revealed that at least 23% of the schools had lightning arrestors and 77% of the schools did have installations.
Field investigations indicate that lightning is very common and mostly associated with the first rains after a dry spell. In Central and Western Uganda these are communities and schools in Wakiso, Mpigi, Rakai, Masaka, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Isingiro, Ssembabule, Mubende, and Kiboga. Field investigations further indicate that some of the deaths were reported especially among school children, and trees that were being struck. This observation indicates that pine forests in the country are most likely to catch fire triggered by lightning.
In the Eastern region the project investigated Mbale, Sironko, Budaka, Busembatya, Namutumba, Kibuku and Iganga and Jinja. The inspections were carried out on Communities and found out that communities needed more sensitization and awareness on dangers of lightning and safety measures. Investigations and media reports too revealed that lightning has continued to negatively impact on population’s security.

On mapping of vulnerability of communities to lightning risk, the project findings indicate that Butambala, Mpigi and Gomba zone is highly vulnerable to lightning strikes. During the project stakeholder consultations the data collected and analyzed identified vulnerable communities to lightning in Kalungu, Masaka, Lwengo Mpigi, Butambala, Bukomansimbi, Gomba, Mityana and Kiboga in need of adaptation and mitigation systems against lightning strikes.
Thirty-three (33) communities in Kalungu, Masaka, Lwengo and Bukomansimbi were sensitized and mapped and only 57% of the community had lightning arresters installed. The project has developed specification for design of effective adaptation and mitigation system for the country. In collaboration with Office of the Prime Minister and consultants the project has provided data and participation in the development of a National Disaster Risk Atlas. Global lightning risk map by NASA shows Lightning flash per Square Kilometre per year. Note that lower cut off for Uganda is 8 flashes per Square Kilometre per year Figure 6. Uganda is prone to tropical lightning and thunderstorms, being one with the highest rates of lightning strike deaths among the countries in the world and its capital Kampala has more days of lightning per year than any other city, according to the World Meteorological Organization. These two phenomena present a natural geophysical laboratory for research in Uganda.
The project will continue to investigate geological relationship of rock formation and lightning risk to public institutions in the country. The project has established that there is a strong correlation of Geological structures such as faults, dykes and sills geometrically arranged like ground capacitors which are points of cloud ground electrostatic discharges contacts. The lightning data are being applied in mineral exploration by integrating with other data set of aeromagnetic surveys and radiometric measurements.
DCIUNIN Project Coverage on the infrasound infrastructure development, vulnerability assessment, public education and awareness in response to geo-hazards especially seismic and lightning risk in the country.

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