The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is set to install new hi-tech machines worth $2.5m (about sh6.5b) to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery.
The acquisition, which is part of the broad Quality Infrastructure and Standards Programme(QUISP) aimed at improving trade in the country, will be implemented in two phases to be completed by the end of the year.
Speaking during a stakeholders' workshop at the trade ministry on Tuesday, Deusdedit Mubangizi, the manager testing department, said they
have been getting complaints from clients who take their products to the bureau for testing delaying to receive the results.
He said the new equipment will enable faster and efficient testing of samples.
Mubangizi explained that the laboratories will carry out tests on food, drinks, chemicals, engineering materials such as cement and electrical products.
He added that the bureau will also receive a machine to measure the strength of iron bars before they are allowed on the market.
"Cases of collapsing buildings are sometimes brought about by weak iron bars. We believe with this new machine we shall be able to reduce on the numbers of such accidents," Mubangizi noted.
He said the bureau is overwhelmed by a high number of samples amidst limited equipment and staff.
"When we get the equipment, it will be our duty to employ more expert staff that will enable us match the demand and serve the clients in time," Mubangizi said.
The move will enable UNBS match the increase in the demand that will come with the move by the trade ministry to ensure quality products on the market.
Mubangizi said with the new equipment, the official time for receiving results for tested products will reduce from three weeks to one.
The commissioner internal trade, Silver Ojakol, said as the trade ministry moves to enhance quality; the integrity of UNBS needs to be maintained so that if the Quality Mark appears on any product, there are no complaints made.
"We want consumers to have all the confidence that any product that has been certified by the UNBS meets the set standards and this equipment will go a long way to ensure this," he noted.