New regional lab in Moroto boosts construction standards

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New regional lab in Moroto boosts construction standards
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The Ministry of Works and Transport has inaugurated the Moroto Regional Laboratory for testing construction materials, a significant development aimed at bolstering infrastructure quality in the Karamoja region.

The facility, located in Loputuk Sub-County near Gulu University Constituent College, was officially launched on May 22, 2024.

State Minister for Works, Musa Ecweru, highlighted the laboratory's role in the broader context of the National Development Plan III (NDPIII).

"The project is part of a wider government initiative under the NDPIII aimed at strengthening the department's capacity to execute its mandate of developing and regulating the construction industry," Ecweru said during the launch.

Engineer Samson Bagonza, representing the Permanent Secretary, expressed satisfaction with the project's completion.

"I'm glad the construction has been completed. This laboratory will support infrastructure development in Karamoja," Bagonza said.

The construction of the Moroto laboratory, undertaken by M/S King Albert Construction Ltd, faced initial delays due to a land dispute between Gulu University and the Ministry of Works and Transport.

The dispute was resolved in 2021, allowing construction to commence in January 2022 and conclude in November 2023.

The Moroto facility is part of a nationwide network of regional laboratories, including the Central Materials Laboratory in Kireka and the upcoming Hoima regional laboratory.

Additional laboratories are located in Gulu, Arua, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Jinja, and Mbale under the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

These laboratories are equipped to test a wide range of construction materials and products, such as cement, lime, iron sheets, reinforcement steel bars, structural steel, burnt clay bricks, concrete blocks, an pre-cast paving blocks.

The lab will also test manhole covers, wires, sand, aggregates, roofing tiles, damp proof courses, particle size analysis products, door locks, window stays, and fasteners.

"The laboratory's commissioning in Moroto marks a step forward in enhancing the quality of construction materials and promoting sustainable development in Karamoja," noted a ministry spokesperson.

The new facility is expected to facilitate research, identify and map sources of construction materials, and ensure that construction projects in the region meet the highest standards of quality and safety.

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