The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) announced a plan to erect a mobile laboratory that will boost service delivery so that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs’) can remain resilient amidst COVID-19.
The products eligible for mobile laboratory testing include maize grain, maize flour, sanitisers, face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), among others.
According to UNBS, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) under the PSFU/MasterCard Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme Project has donated laboratory testing equipment.
"The equipment received includes an automatic colony counter for microbiological analysis; aflatoxin reader/kits and portable moisture meters for grain field-testing; a universal testing machine (UTM) of 10KN and a washing machine for personal protective equipment (PPE) testing (including masks)," the standards agency said in a Tuesday statement.
The equipment was received by UNBS Executive Director, David Livingstone Ebiru, who said the equipment has boosted their testing capacity by enabling mobile testing of samples in the field, in addition to the fixed laboratory testing done at the UNBS headquarters in Bweyogerere.
“We can now undertake mobile tests most especially for Aflatoxins within the maize value chain at the warehouses and millers’ premises. This will help us to increase the outreach to maize dealers across the country as opposed to them bringing the samples to the fixed laboratory equipment at standards house,” said Ebiru.
He added that the mobile testing capacity reduces turnaround time and increases the speed with which the Certificate of Analysis is completed to support businesses in getting the quality mark.
The acting Executive Director of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda Francis Kisirinya said that the equipment given to UNBS does not only test COVID-19 related goods but tests a wider scope of products which will help local manufacturers provide quality products.
“The good thing about this equipment is that it doesn’t test only COVID-19 related items. For example, equipment that tests masks can test textiles and other fabrics, so it will help our local manufacturers to produce quality textiles and fabrics, which we can sell locally and internationally thus supporting Buy Uganda Build Uganda,” Kisirinya said.