“If found, the substandard iron bars will be seized and destroyed with no recourse and charges will be brought against you in accordance with the Laws of the Republic of Uganda. This warning takes immediate effect,” they statement warns.
UNBS issued an ultimatum of June 30th this year for maize millers and maize flour traders to secure standard certification for their products. Maize millers without standard certification face closure.
With no clear standards for quality solar panels on the market, Brenda Akankunda, a researcher and Energy Economist at Makerere University Business School (MUBS), says the public is misled into buying solar products that don’t fit the hype attached to them.
“The UNBS focus in the next five years is to double what has been done so far, by increasing focus on private sector development, Agro-industrialisation, Manufacturing and a sustainable Petroleum Resources Programme.” Ebiru said.
The UNBS 2020 survey report shows that 70% of the solar energy products marketed in Uganda do not conform to the quality standards recognized by the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) and Lighting Global Standards.
Under the PVoC policy, the goods are supposed to be tested for standards like roadworthiness for vehicles, before they are shipped into the country. If the import is registered, the process costs the importers 0.45 per cent of the Free-on-Board value or the value of the goods to be shipped, before adding the freight and insurance costs, while if the import is not registered, it costs 0.5 per cent.
Recently, Kenya banned Uganda's maize claiming that the grain had unacceptably high levels of aflatoxins. But the ban was later lifted with stringent conditions attached. Maize is a staple food in Uganda and a leading agricultural export to East Africa, for both human consumption and animal feed.
Concerned meat consumers like David Orach, a resident of the area is frightened that the continued standoff has led to selling of uninspected meat, posing great risks of foodborne illnesses associated with animals slaughtered from poorly hygienic places.
Section 33 (1)(c) of the National Drug Policy and Authority Act, Cap 206 prohibits the advertisement and publication of information that aimed to promote the use of a drug for prevention or treatment of any disease or relating to enhancing human potency.
The three agencies have separately come under fire for alleged failure to perform their roles, which has abetted the misinformation. However, the three government agencies have agreed to coordinate regarding information sharing and issuance of coordinated directives, for effective enforcement of the policies.
The have agreed to coordinate regarding information sharing, and issuing coordinated directives, effective enforcement of policies.
“I see most of the people putting out their hands for their body temperature to be taken. This is wrong. The forehead is the right body part from which the temperature reading should be taken”, says Simon Rukundo, Head of Temperature Laboratory at the UNBS.
Uganda’s produce, especially maize and groundnuts, has been greatly affected by low standards, especially due to aflatoxins, a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that thrive on crops such as maize, peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.
Contaminated maize is a big health hazard that most posho-eating Ugandans seems to be unaware of. In a meeting attended by over 50 millers, only two (Nakawuka Maize Millers and Kasawo Millers) had taken the requisite measures to acquired a distinctive mark for their flour with the rest still hanging onto excuses of Covid-19 effects, NEMA threatening to evict them and delayed construction of Nakawuka road.
This comes ahead of the reopening of the education sector by the government, which would see the demand for facemasks and shields increase in a few months.
The UNBS says currently, single-layer masks are not allowed, because they cannot guarantee the needed protected.
According to Principal Certification Officer, Mariam Nalwoga, the move is in line with the UNBS Laboratory Recognition Scheme established to ensure that laboratories outside UNBS scope or privately owned are recognized at the national level to conduct product testing.
Winnie Onziru, Senior Standards Officer at UNBS says that developing Uganda’s solar standards are not in themselves sufficient to clean Uganda of fake solar products unless conformity tests are done in Uganda.
Patricia Ejalu, the Deputy Executive Director at Uganda National Bureau of Standards-UNBS, is optimistic that the review will allow solar product users, traders and manufacturers to have an input into the process and ease enforcement of the new standards. This, she adds, will guarantee the safety of solar product users.