Hilary Onek - Hon Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees

CHICAGO, Ill., May 16, 2022 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — An important milestone for promoting lightning safety across Africa occurred with the February 2022 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Uganda-based African Centers for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENet) and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) of Uganda. This MoU was piloted and promoted by the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees (MoRDP'R) within the Prime Minister’s Office.

“My Ministry is working with ACLENet on the scientific aspects of disaster preparedness,” said Hilary Onek, the Hon Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees. “It is the hope of parties involved in this partnership to make this optimism a reality,” Onek explained during a Public Service Announcement (PSA), an integral part of engagements leading to the signing of the MoU that was broadcast during the 2021 holiday season in both English and Luganda, the primary indigenous language in Uganda.

The MoU is an important milestone for ACLENet, as it is expected to provide instrumental framework for: 1) A national mandate to plan, promote, and advocate for lightning safety across Uganda; 2) Introduction of scientific principles of lightning safety for people, property, and places according to globally recognized lightning protection system (LPS) safety standard provisions of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

“This partnership is expected to further ACLENet’s goals of saving lives and property across Africa,” said Dr. Mary Ann Cooper, Managing Director of ACLENet.

Data sets and information packages are being prepared for the Hon. Minister for onward submission to appropriate units within the Government of Uganda and general public and include priorities outlined in The United Nation’s Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 as well as a database on lightning injuries.

“Specifically, ACLENet plans to expand the work piloted with programs and interventions over the last seven years and in partnership with the National Emergency Coordination and Operations Centre (NECOC), a specialized department of MoRDP'R,” explained Dr. Cooper. “Together, we aim to advance the ‘building lightning safe communities’ effort by reducing the number of deaths, injuries, and property damage from lightning.”

Here in the U.S., the International Code Council (I.C.C.) is celebrating its 42nd annual Building Safety Month campaign with the theme “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action,” to raise awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in spaces in which we live work and learn.

“Building Safety Month focuses on issues that impact our everyday lives: building safety, energy, water and disasters-factors of constant concern for homes, schools, businesses and communities,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO.

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About ACLENet:

ACLENet, a nonprofit organization incorporated in both the US and Uganda, seeks funding and volunteers to help reduce injuries, save lives, and decrease crippling infrastructure damage from lightning in Africa. Visit to learn how you can support the effort.

ACLENet uses lightning protection, public, primary, and secondary education, and research to interface with African governments and protect communities from the lightning threat.



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News Source: African Centers for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network

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