Gulu Journalists Survive Lightning Strike

The office where the journalists were working from at the time of the lightning strike. The photo was taken by Willy Chowoo shortly after surviving the strike by the skin of his teeth!


Three Gulu based journalists on Tuesday afternoon survived the aftershock of a thundering lightning strike that left them with mild shocks and numb limbs.

The journalists were working from the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC), a Gulu based media development organization that runs a resource centre used for press conferences and as work place for journalists.

The lightening strike happened during a close to three hours of rain that began as a drizzle around 1 pm before it intensified into a heavy downpour by 3:30 pm

‘‘My hands are still heavy,’’ said Willy Chowoo, a radio and citizen journalist who runs a popular Facebook page that captures happenings in Gulu and around Gulu and the Acholi sub region.

It is the second time Mr Choowo is surviving a lightning strike after another incident in 2011 when a radio station he worked for was struck during a downpour.

James Owich, another of the journalists who felt the shocks of the lightening said: “My left hand is still heavy after I felt some kind of electric current going through my left body. But I think I am fine,” said Mr Owich, a freelance journalist for multiple media organisations.

David Okema, another journalist threw himself on the floor as he scampered for safety.

NUMEC located opposite the office of the Gulu Resident District Commissioner in Senior Quarters has a lightening arrester which could have saved the life of nearly a dozen journalists working at the facility at the time of the lightning strike.

Several computers  the journalists were using switched themselves off. None was however injured.

When the downpour stopped the journalists were seen taking photographs to upload on their social media platforms to celebrate  surviving a lightning strike by the skin of their teeth.