Bangladesh to plant trees to reduce lightning-related death toll


Source: Source: Xinhua

DHAKA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — Lightning has become a natural disaster in Bangladesh because official statistics show that bolts caused over 200 deaths in 2016 in the country.

According to one independent monitor, the death toll due to lightening strikes is likely higher because people living in rural areas sometimes don’t report a death to the police.

Last May, lightning strikes killed an unprecedented 59 people in the country in just three days, which prompted the government to describe lightning as a natural disater last year.

Government officials have been looking for a way to reduce the number of deaths related to lightning strikes before finally turning to nature.

Bangladesh has decided to plant one million palm trees whose branches can absorb the impact of lightning.

“We’ve already started planting palm trees in rural areas in an effort to reduce the number of deaths due to lightning,” Shah Kamal, the government’s disaster management secretary, was quoted by AFP as saying.

“We’ll plant one million palm trees by June this year,” he added.

According to Kamal, a similar program has had success in Thailand.

“Palm trees take years to grow. But definitely this is a good move by the government. It will reduce deaths,” said Shah Alam, a former head of Bangladesh Meteorological Department, according to AFP.


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