TOP
Wednesday,July 17,2019 17:49 PM

UNBS issues fake building materials alert

By Carol Kasujja

Added 28th May 2018 01:38 PM

“Our market surveillance services indicate that most products do not conform to relevant regulations with respect to health, safety and environmental requirements," Manyindo.

Ironbars 703x422

“Our market surveillance services indicate that most products do not conform to relevant regulations with respect to health, safety and environmental requirements," Manyindo.

PIC: Steel bars. For the last ten years, UNBS has consistently received complaints from the market regarding the quality of locally manufactured and imported steel products (File photo)
 
CONSTRUCTION
 
KAMPALA - When shopping for construction materials, be on the look-out as there are many counterfeits in the market, the standards body warned.
 
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) executive director Ben Manyindo, said that for the last ten years, UNBS has consistently received complaints from the market regarding the quality of locally manufactured and imported steel products especially steel bars, iron sheets, cement, paint and electrical wires.
 
“Our market surveillance services indicate that most products do not conform to relevant regulations with respect to health, safety and environmental requirements.
 
"Most steel bars are not marked with nominal diameter, they have wrong grades declared and manufacturers offer 11 meters instead of the required 12meters in length. Some dealers are conniving with some manufacturers through placement of orders for substandard products,” said Manyindo.
 
Manyindo also noted that most of the materials on the market cannot be traced to the manufacturer or importer because they do not indicate their address on the products.
 
Manufactures are making gauge 32 iron sheets and marking them gauge 30 for Pre-painted galvanised iron sheets. (PPGI)
 
Addressing steel bar manufacturers and importers, John Paul Musimami, the deputy executive director compliance said that manufacturers start production without first inquiring from UNBS whether there is a standard or not. They approach the standards body when they already have stock.
 
“Most of the steel manufacturers do not provide scientific data to support the standards development process and when they are called for meetings to provide their input in the standards, they send non-technical experts to technical meetings,” noted Musimami.
 
Musimami also said that measures have been put in place to save the country loss of billions of shillings from the scam by calling upon all manufacturers to form an association to bring them together.
 
“We are calling upon all engineers to be cautious with the materials they buy from hardwares, because most hardwares in town sell counterfeit products. If it has no address do not buy,” said Joselyn Bbira, a communications officer at UNBS.
 
During the conference Raphael Luyima, the assistant control manager at Roofings limited said that buildings collapse not because builders use fake building materials but because they store certain materials like cement badly.
 
“Cement is supposed to be dry. But when some people buy it, they put it in the store and cover it with so many things, in the end it loses its moisture and weakness. Once you keep the iron sheets outside and water gets stuck in the heap it weakness the bonding of the paint with the basement. Once you use it, the labels wash off and it becomes hard for you to trace the manufacturer,” said Luyima.
 
Counterfeits and substandard goods remain a serious threat to the economy with a number of companies losing billions of shillings to fake products. It is estimated that Uganda loses more than Sh1 trillion due to the sale of counterfeit and substandard products.
 
 
 
 

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles