Fake cement a problem for Uganda construction industry

(Uganda)  —  Adulterated cement is finding its way at building sites in Uganda causing a major problem for the construction industry of the country.

Some investigations have revealed adulterated cement as the reason for the collapse of numerous buildings around Kampala.

Hima Cement, one of the two largest cement manufacturing companies in Uganda, has alleged that the adulterated cement not only hurts the industry’s image, but also squeezes out substantial amount of tax revenue, and hampers business growth that would have otherwise have created more employment opportunities.

Hima Cement was forced to change its packaging to beat the dubious traders.

The problem of distribution of fake cement in Uganda can be attributed to many reasons.  Uganda’s construction boom, high inflation rate and strong dollar have all resulted in the high price of construction materials, such as steel and cement.

The packaging of fake cements is done by mixing genuine cement with sand and repackaging it in fake bags. The new package is a fake bag that almost looks like either Hima Cement’s or Tororo Cements. Adulterated cement is usually sold at half the genuine price of a bag of cement. A genuine bag of cement goes for Shs 30,000.

Brice Howeto, a member of the East African Cement Producers Association, says there is need for better monitoring and it should start from “the time cement is loaded for transportation, in the warehouse up to the time it’s used for constructing. Even the constructors need to be monitored.”

By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)

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