ZABS should check quality of building materials

THE Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) should intensify its operations to ensure that building materials on the market for construction works are of high quality.

Some Lusaka residents have complained over the poor quality of building materials including electricity cables used in wiring works.

Mr Elias Phiri of Chilanga explained that many people were spending huge amounts of money on fake products.

He said some wires being sold on the market did not meet required specifications, and continued to pose numerous dangers.

“Some of these wires are the cause of fires because they could not manage the current that passes through them.

“ZABS should increase its inspections from the point of entry to the retail shops that sell fake products which pose a danger to human life and property,” he said.

He complained that retail outlets have stocked huge piles of fake wires which they sold to unsuspecting members of public that compromised the security and safety of structures.

Last year government acquired machinery to monitor the quality of electrical cables and issued the Statutory Instrument (SI) number 59 of 2013 to that effect.

The US$26,547.68 worth of equipment was apparently not nbeing used and that was why this problem continued, customers said.

They said the dangers posed by poor quality cables to infrastructure and human safety in the construction industry were real. Mr Phiri said it was unfortunate that the equipment had  not been employed to check the quality of cables on the Zambian market.

There have been several fires at household and commercial levels which have destroyed goods worth thousands of Kwacha due to suspected poor quality wires.