In Summary

For those whose land is situated in a valley or swampy areas, Kisitu advises that they fill the area with murram soil. However, he cautions to first get rid of the flabby soil before filling the land with murram. And with areas that contain too much water, construct French drains and later fill and compact the soil very well before setting off with the foundation.

Alex Amooti of Namubiru, Mukono District decided to have his land levelled before he could commence construction of his storeyed house.

“The engineer advised me to level the land because it was on a steep slope so, he said it would help me achieve the right measurements and the desired house design,” he reveals.

Just like Amooti, a number of homeowners have levelled their land.
However, everyone gives a different reason for that. Some do it to prepare grass seed planting, flower planting, vegetable gardens or steps among other reasons.

According to Ali Kisitu, an engineer affiliated to Up Deal Uganda limited, grading or levelling in construction seeks to create a level base mostly on a slopping type of land.

He says before setting off with the grading or levelling work, you must have an architectural plan in place for guidance.
“The type of building and the plan one has should be the one to determine how the land is levelled. It may have terraces or be flat,” he says.

Considerations
According to Vincent Lukwago, an engineer working with New Era Technical Services, people should always consider certain things such as the size and the type of building to have. This is to avoid losses or even embarrassment that may come with the kind of structure they settle down with.

“Different lands have different slopes and it’s to this effect that an engineer bases on to level the land. Some houses may need to have basements locally known as go-downs which need deepen digging,” he notes.

Lukwago shows the importance of levelling as one of the ways that help to prevent rain water from flooding and destroying the house. “Levelling the land also gives the constructed structure a firm foundation,” he says.

Lukwago further notes that since excavations leave the soil hanging, there is a great need to build a retaining wall or an embankment. This is meant to prevent the soil from sliding back to the house which may claim people’s lives in the process.

For those whose land is situated in a valley or swampy areas, Kisitu advises that they fill the area with murram soil. However, he cautions to first get rid of the flabby soil before filling the land with murram. And with areas that contain too much water, construct French drains and later fill and compact the soil very well before setting off with the foundation.

“Most people make a mistake of not removing the loose soil; they just pour debris which is not good because the original soft soil cannot hold the house,” Lukwago says showing great concern of how many mismanaged sites are faced with the risk of destruction.
Lukwago also explains that since levelling the land needs a lot of circulations, there is a need to get qualified people to undertake the work. This will save you from losses such as compensating neighbouring houses or structures. Other unqualified people may leave the house under earth which also comes with its own risks and costs.

Experience of contractor
“Consider the competency of the people you employ because some individuals have a problem with circulating the slopes which affects the building in the long run,” he cautions.

With house design, Lukwago says people should rather alternate the stepped design to have one perfectly designed building because they are more elegant which contribute a lot to one’s status.
Another important aspect Franciska Alinaitwe, a civil engineer working with Mulago hospital building and construction project talks about, is the need to test the soil before setting off with the levelling process .

“Knowing the type of soil your house or building is going to sit on is very important. So if it is soft land, fill it up with murram soil and if it’s a wet land, cut the original soil and fill with hard core. This will provide a firm foundation for the house,” she notes.

Alinaitwe also emphasises the type or kind of machines used in that particular area. Getting a surveyor to acquire clear levels before the levelling process starts is another crucial thing you should never under look according to the expert.

ckatende@ug.nationmedia.com