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UNBS Equips Gulu Testing Lab, To start Operation Before End of Year

The multibillion laboratory is one of the three regional laboratories, the others in Mbale and Mbarara cities whose construction is funded by the Danish Embassy through TradeMark East Africa-TMEA. UNBS kicked off the construction of the three regional laboratories last year.
08 Dec 2021 18:44
Deputy Danish Ambassador to Uganda Henrik Jespersen inspects the newly constructed testing Laboratory in Gulu city on Wednesday.

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The Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS has installed modern analytical equipment to aid the testing of products in Northern Uganda at its newly constructed regional testing laboratory in Gulu city.

The multibillion laboratory is one of the three regional laboratories, the others in Mbale and Mbarara cities whose construction is funded by the Danish Embassy through TradeMark East Africa-TMEA.  UNBS kicked off the construction of the three regional laboratories last year.

Mukota Aziz, the Head of the Chemistry Lab at UNBS said on Wednesday that the decentralization of the regional testing laboratory was triggered by the growing numbers of samples received at the testing laboratory in Kampala due to increased economic activities in the country. He added that equipment worth 1.7 billion Shillings (USD 494,980) for testing various products have so far been received for the regional laboratories.

Mukota notes that the absence of regional Laboratories meant that traders and manufacturers spent long hours travelling to the testing lab in Kampala adding that sometimes samples are compromised by the time it reaches Kampala.

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He adds that decentralizing the laboratories will minimize delays in testing and high transport costs, enhance analytical capabilities for testing various products, reduce production costs, and boost trade within and the neighbouring regions.

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Mukota says that they expect the Gulu Regional Testing Laboratory to fully kick off operations before the end of this year.  He says two staff who underwent training from Kampala have so far been posted at the laboratory.

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Henrik Jespersen, the Deputy Danish Ambassador to Uganda who visited the Gulu regional testing laboratory on Wednesday noted that the lab will enhance the quality of products that in turn boost the country’s trade with its neighbours.

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Catherine Ssekimpi, the acting Country Director of TradeMark East Africa, however, emphasized the need by UNBS to scale up sensitization of locals on the newly established laboratory.

The Gulu Regional Testing Lab will be used for testing the quality of vegetable oil seeds, cereal grains and cereal products, honey and honey products. Mbale and Mbarara Regional Testing Laboratories which haven’t yet been equipped will test cereal grains, cereal products, and dairy products respectively.

With the currently ongoing construction of a multi-billion Gulu Logistics Hub, Gulu City is expected to become a one-stop centre for trade in Northern Uganda. But low quality of agricultural products and limited access to modern testing facilities still continue to hamper traders and manufacturers in the region from effectively breaking the competitive market.

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