Says GBOS DG
By Binta Jaiteh
The Director General of the Gambia Standards Bureau Papa Secka, has said that up-to-date, the Bureau has developed over three hundred (300) standards, thirty-three of which are on electrical and allied products which are collectively classed as electrotechnical products.
The bureau shared the standards they developed that are conducted for insulated cables, the criteria that a cable should meet, and how to distinguish a good cable from a bad cable.
Speaking during the engagement held at Metzy Hotel, DG Seckastated that their flagship standard in the domain remains the National Electrical/ Wiring Standard which had been developed taking into account the principles and norms as established internationally, current prevailing conditions, and practices both local and international, all the other remaining standards, including cables, are direct adoptions of IEC standards because lEC standards are the internationally accepted reference for electro technical products.
According to him, he said the gathering was convened as part of their continuous stakeholder engagement and sensitization activities for the promotion of standardization, conformity assessment, and metrology in industry and commerce, as stipulated in The Gambia Standards Bureau Act.
The Bureau assigned role is formidable since its goal is to standardize products produced or consumed in The Gambia, systems, and processes.
He noted that the Bureau covers everything without exception including services. Considering that resources are limited, “the Bureau has to prioritize based on several criteria such as Development Plans and Priorities of Government, Import and Export Statistics of Goods, health and safety considerations
Mr Louis Moses Mendy, the Permanent Secretary of Transport, Works and Infrastructure noted that the important role that electrical and allied products play in delivering high-quality works that result in safe and sound infrastructure cannot be overemphasized.
“Without losing sight of the diversity of electrotechnicalproducts, please allow me to zoom in on one key product namely electrical cables which is the backbone of anything and anywhere electricity is needed,” he explained.
PS revealed this very critical role that cables play in electrical installations, that their quality must never be compromised. “Unfortunately, we as a country, have had our fair share of the negative effects of substandard cables, in as much as it may be arguable that some of the devastating fires we have witnessed in our communities may not be entirely due to substandard cables, it goes without saying that they constitute a major fire hazard,” he stated.
He went further that hence there is a need for effective regulation to safeguard the integrity and safety of installations, dwellings, and similar structures. And to achieve this objective there is a need for collaboration with the participation of all stakeholders and coordination of the roles of different Government institutions.