Mr. Onesmas lives in an area that is known to be hit by landslides. His house is at the foot of a hill. His next door neighbour, Mama Sarah, lives up the hill.
One day out of nowhere it rained cats, dogs, elephants and camels until the soil got loose and caused a landslide. Mama Sarah’s whole house rolled down the hill and fell into Mr. Onesmas’ home.
Should Mama Sarah pay Mr. Onesmas for the damage her house caused to his?
WHO COMPENSATES VICTIMS OF LANDSLIDES?
Landslides are natural disasters and common in parts of Uganda. They are mainly caused by heavy rainfall, especially in hilly areas.
Under the constitution, the state is responsible for providing a way of dealing with any hazard or disaster arising from natural calamities or situations that lead to displacement of people or disruption of their normal life.
Natural calamities or disasters are events arising from a naturally occurring event that usually cause great damage, and possible loss of life.
Landslides are forms of natural calamities therefore it would be a matter that the state would look into to resolve and decide on whether to compensate Mr. Onesmas, and Mama Sarah, or make arrangements of assisting them such as relocation.
If, however, Mama Sarah caused the accident by for example carrying out irrigation and by not being careful over watered the soil and triggered the land slide, she may be liable to pay damages to Mr. Onesmas as this may not be considered a natural calamity.
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Source: Barefoot Lawyers- Uganda.