The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has commissioned a state of the art food and safety laboratory in Mbarara City.
The first of its kind facility in the region, the lab will handle all technical aspects of acquiring certification.
Speaking at the launch, the UNBS Executive Director, Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, said since lab testing is one of the key components of conformity assessment, standards compliance and quality assurance, it is important that UNBS decentralises its laboratories to take services nearer to the people.
“Initially all businesses were seeking UNBS certification from the head office in Kampala. However, UNBS has decentralised testing services to Northern region, Eastern region and now Western region in order to reduce the cost of doing business,” Ebiru said.
“We have started with labs in Gulu, Mbale and now Mbarara. Next in line is the Rwenzori region; Hoima to support oil and gas; then West Nile; Arua because of the volume of cross border trade that happens in this region,” he added.
The Laboratory Equipment worth USD 4,455,283 was donated by Trade Mark Africa funded by the Danish Government.
“We want to appreciate the government of Denmark through TradeMark Africa who invests in quality infrastructure. We thank you for the support in enabling the decentralisation of UNBS Testing services to different parts of Uganda,” Ebiru said.
Danish Ambassador to Uganda Signe Winding Albjerg said the decentralisation of lab services is always paying off.
“Following the previous UNBS Labs launched in Mbale and Gulu, we have seen a reduction in turnaround time of testing products. We have seen increased consumer protection due to an increase in the number of products tested in the labs and increased cross border trade of the tested products,” Ambassador Albjerg said.
“I call upon the business community to take advantage of the western region labs to further grow their businesses for their local market and the international market,” she added.
The lab is located along Isingiro Road, Block 2, Nsikye-Nyamitanga.
The area LC1 Chairperson, Mr. Kabagambe Ignatius, urged UNBS to curb sub-standard goods in the Western region by sensitising manufacturers that UNBS is not against them but it exists to help boost their businesses.