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ZICTA enters partnership to address lightning threat

ZICTA Digest
THIS week, we look at the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA)’s role in ensuring that people and the country as a whole are prepared for hazards caused by lightning.
It is in this regard, that the ZICTA have partnered with the African Centre for Lightning and Electromagnetics (ACLE) to confront (mitigate) the increasing threat of lightning on human life, livestock, telecommunication equipment, and other infrastructure.
ACLE-Zambia organised an international forum from August 11-13, 2015, with the theme, ‘Strategic Interventions to Mitigate the Hazards of Lightning’, which brought together government representatives, scientists, meteorologists, and those interested in lightning protection from across Africa, as well as experts on lightning safety, and electromagnetics from around the world.
Because of its importance, ZICTA also actively took part in this symposium to accentuate the authority’s accomplishments in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) protection and safety.
Lightning is natural electrical discharge which has a short duration and is characterised by high voltage, a bright light and thunder; and is normally experienced during the rainy season. Lightning occurs between clouds or between the cloud and the ground, and it is the later that is of interest.
In Zambia every year, lightning
1.    Kills and injures a lot of people
2.    Kills and injures animals, causing economic challenges to families and businesses and
3.    Damages equipment and property for households and utility companies, resulting in downtime and losses in millions of Kwacha.
This has necessitated the need to come up with mitigating measures for the lightning effects and devise protection mechanism by developing and implementing lightning protection and safety standards.
ZICTA, working with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), has established a Technical Committee comprising of Airtel, Cherrytech, University of Zambia (UNZA), Zamtel and Zesco to develop standards for:
1.    Damage prevention and Safety which delve into issues relating to:
a.    Lightning protection and earthing of telecommunication systems
b.    Resistibility and safety in telecommunications
c.    Protective components and assemblies
2.     Electromagnetic fields emission and human exposure to tackle issues concerning:
a.    Human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) due to radio systems and mobile equipment
b.    Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) issues arising from the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and communication equipment.
During the ACLE Zambia symposium, a National Centre for Lightning and Electromagnetics was launched whose main goals are to upgrade the electronics technology to prevent damage from lightning; and to mitigate human and livestock deaths and injuries, and property damage from lightning. This centre will be hosted at Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI).
To augment the work currently being undertaken by ZICTA, and to further support the work the National Centre for Lightning plans to undertake, ZICTA invites other stakeholders that wish to participate in the development of standards through this aforementioned technical committee to contact the authority using approvals@zicta.zm.
For further information
The applicants can access our ZICTA or (onlinesystems.zicta.zm)

For more information please email info@zicta.zm or contact us on the following telephone numbers 0211 244424,244427 or 241236.

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