3.2 African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network (ACLENet): 2019 Progress Report

Tuesday, 8 January 2019: 10:45 AM
North 225AB (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Mary Ann Cooper, African Centres for Lightning and Electromagnetics Network; Professor Emerita, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, River Forest, IL; and R. Tushemereirwe and R. L. Holle

ACLENet (https://ACLENet.org) is a pan-African network of centres dedicated to decreasing deaths, injuries and property damage from lightning.

Lightning is more common in tropical and subtropical climates and some estimates say that as many as 90% of sub-Saharan buildings are not ‘lightning safe’, leaving families at risk 24/7. ACLENet is actively recruiting donors for IEC 62305 code compliant lightning protection at schools because they tend to be the most substantial buildings in most African villages. Students, teachers, parents, and local and district education officials and others are invited to the LP completion celebrations to learn about lightning science, mechanisms of injury and safety and these schools serve as centers for learning about lightning safety in their regions.

A further threat beyond injury to citizens in already economically challenged African countries is lightning damage to infrastructure such as utilities, aviation, mining, banking and small businesses. The model schools are used for educational seminars for government officials to teach them about lightning protection and ACLENet attempts to work with other stakeholders as well as the national meteorological authority in each country to incorporate lightning data and bring accurate and timely forecasts to the citizens of the country.

ACLENet promotes improved undergraduate, graduate and ongoing professional training of engineers with respect to lightning impacts, working in partnership with national universities, professional organizations and standards setting groups, as well as writing proposals for grants to support training, research, and disaster management. A notable outcome of this is the development of MS and PhD programs in lightning science at the University of Zambia where students are currently being recruited.

ACLENet welcomes volunteers, advisors, partners, and donors who want to be part of decreasing deaths, injuries, and property damage from lightning in Africa (https://ACLENet.org/how-to-help/overview.html).

Keywords - Lightning injury, lightning injury prevention, lightning risk assessment, electromagnetic compatibility, lightning protection, property damage from lightning, education, lightning in Africa

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