UNBS: We are crippled due to lack of staff

1927 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
UNBS currently has only 12 employees to certify over 1500 products, 5 inspection officers and requires at least 211 technical staff to strengthen its regional and border inspection offices.

Uganda may have to wait much longer before substandard products are cleared off the market as the Uganda Bureau of Standards says it is not well resourced to curb the growing number of fake and substandard products on the market.
 
Dr. Ben Manyindo, the Bureau of Standards Executive Director says the Bureau is not well resourced both in human and financial terms to meet the huge task it is faced with.

He says the Bureau has only twelve employees to certify over 1500 products with only five inspection officers.
 
Uganda Bureau of Standards according to Manyindo requires at least 211 technical staff to strengthen its regional and border inspection offices.

He says recruiting the required additional staff would cost about 8.4 billion Shillings.
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Manufacturers and sellers of substandard goods according to Manyindo distribute and sell such goods in the evening in order to avoid arrest.

UNBS is seeking additional 11 billion Shillings to their financial budget. It was allocated over eighteen billion Shillings in the 2014/2015.
 
The money is expected to cater for the recruitment of 92 staff and build a food safety laboratory for testing imported and locally manufactured foods.

The committee vice chairperson, Grace Namara wondered why the body has not prioritized consumer education and public awareness in a bid to protect the market from substandard goods.
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In response, Manyindo explained that the Ministry of Finance had asserted that it did not have the 1.2 billion Shillings that was planned for the programme.

Kanungu Woman MP, Elizabeth Karungi however says UNBS, despite the constraints, should extend its work to other parts of the country.
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About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.