Poor quality concrete blocks cause concern

The National Construction Council (NCC) should devise a system of monitoring the quality and safety of concrete blocks being sold on the local market.

Some Lusaka residents have complained that the quality of some blocks on the market were of poor quality and a system should  be found and put in place to check against such inadequacies.

Mr Norman Ngoma of Lusaka’s SOS area complained that some manufacturing companies had taken advantage of the high demand of blocks owing to the massive construction activities around the city to offload poor quality building blocks.

Mr Ngoma said both NCC and the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) should get to the bottom of the matter and ensure there were quality building materials on the market.

“It is unacceptable that as a country we should allow low quality building products on the market because this compromises the lifespan of houses and other buildings under construction,

“ZABS should send its inspectors to blocks-making companies or individuals everyday to ensure only quality materials were allowed in the manufacturing industry,” he said. He explained that many people have complained about the poor quality of concrete blocks produced by companies around the townships.

Many people said they had no option but to buy low quality concrete blocks because the cost of transportation from established quarries outside Lusaka was too much to bear.

He said the authorities must ensure that the people bought quality products from community-based manufacturers by enhancing checks at points of production.

The construction industry has been infiltrated by fake block-making private companies whose products have raised concerns in meeting the basic quality requirements in the trade.

The heightened building activities in Zambia has seen the mushrooming of community concrete block -making companies  including some individuals who have taken up the business in compounds and busy street corners.

But it seemed there were no guidelines to provide quality products including the curing process of concrete blocks which was not meeting acceptable standards.