Persistent lightning strikes on the MTN poles worries Gulu residents

The strikes, they say, are specifically targeting the MTN poles installed at the Oroko trading center.

By Christopher Nyeko

Gulu: Residents of Oroko village in Palaro sub-county Gulu district are demanding MTN Uganda explain to them why the recently installed network connectivity poles in their area are getting struck by lightning.

In the past two weeks, residents of Oroko have been living in total fear following the increasing cases of lightning strikes in their village. The strikes, they say, are specifically targeting the MTN poles installed at the Oroko trading center.

Odong Nelson Mandel, the Oroko village chairperson, says when the rain comes, the business communities and people living in Oroko trading centers close their businesses and run away from the center where the poles are planted, fearing for their dear lives as they anticipate the lightning may occur.

According to local authorities, at least three poles have been struck down by persistent lightning on separate days.

Richard Komakech, the area councilor for Palaro subcounty, says MTN embarked on installing poles this year in around July, but details of the project were not disclosed to the local leaders and district leaders as well.

He notes that MTN is putting this pole from Amuru via Gulu to Lamwo.

Opiyo Christopher Ateker, the Gulu district LCV chairperson, says he is still unaware of the matter; however, he advises that MTN should include putting lightning arresters in their infrastructural telecommunication development project to curb lightning, which he says is a commonly targeted electronic deceiver.

However, Charles Ichogor, the Gulu resident district commissioner, pledged that he is going to raise MTN Uganda now that it has become the security mater. He implores the locals to always form leaders in a timely manner to promote urgent responses from the relevant authorities.

Attempts to get an apology from Philip Odoi, the MTN Regional Business Manager, were futile, as he did not respond to the repeated phone calls arranged to him.

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