What you need to know:
- The incident in Navakholo was one of the worst since 2018, when 22 children were struck by lightning while in school.
Two people were killed in lightning strikes in Navakholo and Mumias West sub-counties, Kakamega County, on Thursday evening.
Rosemary Muramba, 62, had been preparing dinner for her family at Ingusi village in Musanda ward, Mumias, when she was struck during a heavy downpour.
Her husband, Jackson Muramba, said: “My wife had fetched maize flour from the store in our living room, where the rest of the family members were sheltering from the rain, and was heading to the kitchen, where she was preparing food for the family, when she was struck dead by lightning.”
Her body was taken to the St Mary’s Mission Hospital mortuary.
Residents said many such cases have occurred since 2002, Mr Muramba’s sister was killed by lightning. They also cited an incident in 2010, a man in the neighboring Queen village was struck.
Sarah Kanyole, Eshikalame Sub-location assistant chief, said no similar occurrences have been reported since 2010.
The second incident involved 14-year-old Sharon Misenya, a Standard Six pupil of Sirgoi Primary School.
She was struck on the way to her uncle’s home, a distance from her home at Lwakhupa village in Butsotso North Ward, Navakholo.
Her mother, Sheloin Okutoto, said she had spent the day with the family, planting maize on their farm.
“There was rain in the distance and a thick cloud hung over the village. We expected a heavy downpour. In the evening, she decided to visit her uncle but on the way, she was struck by the lightning that accompanied the heavy downpour and died on the spot,” she said.
“We found her body by the road with a lot of foam oozing from the mouth and nose.”
However, her father Bernard Okutoto has called for thorough investigations, saying he does not believe she was killed by lightning.
This was one of the worst incidents of this kind in Navakholo since 2018, when 22 children were struck by lightning while in school. One of them died.
“We want the government to install arresters in schools, churches and other buildings to reduce the recurring cases,” said residentStephen Munyerere.
Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe said he bought four arresters which were installed in the constituency.
Mr Wangwe said he will meet the CDF committee and seek the purchase of more of this equipment for installation across the constituency.
“Cases of lightning strikes are becoming rampant in Kakamega. A solution requires concerted efforts by both the national and county government,” he said.