Publish Date: Nov 17, 2006
Newvision Archive
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By Harriet Birungi
One might need to use culverts to drain away the water when it rains

You may have bought land or are already residing in a place that is prone to flooding.

Everytime it rains, your compound is flooded and sometimes the water gets into the house. This is a problem for people who reside in Bwaise Kaleerwe, parts of Namboole and Nateete Kigaga zone, among many.

Charles Kyamanywa, the Kampala chief town planner, says the council has tried so much to discourage people from settling in swampy areas and thought of relocating those already living there.

“But because there is no demarcated space where they can be settled, they continue to live, build and work in such places to the detriment of everybody including themselves,” he explained.
However, for that person already living in such flooding areas, there are some remedies.

John Kennedy Mulyanda, an architect, says the best way to go around building a floodfree house in a low area is to use pillars.

“Using pillars helps to keep the house above the ground so that water doesn’t get to it. While this may provide a flood-free foundation, one should be able to invest in a lot of pipes for the house floor and bricks made out of cement and sand. One concrete brick costs sh1,500,” Mulyanda warns.

Alternatively, he says one can pile and compact marram to first raise the place before building. However, adding soil depends on a number of variables if it is to work, as the soil may shift the water to another area, transferring the flood problem there. To help clear the problem, one will need to put culverts under the ground to drain away the water.

Culverts create a passage for the water when it rains. The price of the culverts depends on the size one desires.
A worker at East Lands Agency who preferred anonymity, says all that one has to do is buy perforated plastic drain-pipe.

“The best kind for this purpose is the flexible kind that comes in rolls. This type of drainpipe has small slits all around it, which allow water to enter the pipe so it can be carried away,” he explains.

The source adds that one should just dig a trench from the centre of the low area where water is being drained to the point one intends to drain it to. One should put the pipe deep enough so that it is covered with soil, with the exit point exposed.

He further advises that when installing this system, it is good to dig a number of shorter trenches all heading away from the area where water lags.

Using the line level for straight lines, one has to make sure the trenches fall away from their point of origin so that once the water enters the pipes, it will flow away from the collection point where flooding stems.

However, this does not mean that the low area will not trap water, but much of that water will seep into the drain-pipe and eventually leach out into the soil under each trench. Because this soil will not have been compacted by the standing water and the baking sun, it will suck the water.

“Although it will not go away as fast as one draining to the ditch, but at least one will have a mechanism in place that will eventually disperse the water back into the soil and thus a flood-free homestead,” the source explained.

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