The Malawi’s Department of Meteorological Services is attributing increasing cases of bolt of lightning which are claiming lives of many people in the country to the department’s lack of necessary equipment of detecting lightning.
Briefing reporters in the commercial capital Blantyre, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Jolam Nkhokwe, said the lightning incidents are largely caused by an intensive heat which has accumulated to very high levels due to the delays in rains which the country experienced.
“The late onset of rains has led to accumulated heating that had intensified the thunderstorms which has become so heavy and because the heat had to go away, you would find that there are winds which are very strong, violent and associated with lightening,” says Nkhokwe.
He says as a department they are appealing for support to purchase equipment that would help it detect the lightening.
“We don’t have any equipment which can detect lightening in advance. So we are appealing to development partners including government to financially help us so that we can purchase these detectors to install them in strategic positions around the country so that if there are any thunderstorms associated with lightening we can quickly warn the members of the general public in advance”.
Nkhokwe says the equipment has been very effective in countries where they have been installed as they have helped in protecting lives of people and property from lightning strikes.
Since the onset of rainy season Malawi has lost a lot of lives to lightening including eight members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Meanwhile the meteorological department is advising people to avoid standing on a bare ground while it is raining as a safety measure from lightning strikes.