30th October , 2023
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) calls upon the public to purchase fuel from gazetted areas to avoid consumption of adulterated fuel. According to the UNBS Acting Executive Director, Mr. Daniel Richard Makayi Nangalama, fuel sold in Jerrycans and bottles is adulterated.
“We regulate fuel at gazetted dispensing areas like fuel stations. We want to encourage all Ugandans and the public to buy fuel from fuel stations. Fuel sold in jerrycans and bottles is often adulterated and the quantities tempered with, which is harmful to engines of automobiles as well cheating the consumers .” He said.
Mr. Nangalama made the remarks during the Fuel Marking and Quality Monitoring program (FMQP) sensitisation meeting organised by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) and UNBS, in Mbale City recently. The program, designed to control and monitor the quality of petroleum products in the entire supply chain in Uganda, this time round, took place in Eastern Uganda sub-regions of Busoga, Bugwere, Teso, Sebei, Bukedi, and Bugisu.
The UNBS Ag. Executive Director also revealed that through the fuel marking and quality monitoring program, fuel adulteration has enormously reduced from 30% in 2015 to less than 0.5% this year, with the Eastern region performing poorly.
“The Eastern region’s compliance level is low that’s why we decided to conduct the Fuel Marking and Quality Monitoring program activities here, to create more awareness and increase compliance. Fuel dealers should desist from malpractices and fuel adulteration vices while Consumers should be vigilant when buying fuel.”
Fuel Adulteration refers to an illegal introduction of any foreign substance into fuel to increase its quantity, leading to non-compliance with standards specifications. Fuel adulteration is dangerous because it damages engines of automobiles and cheats the consumer. To combat the vice, Government introduced the fuel marking programme which ensures that all fuel meant for local consumption is marked at the border points.
The program also has mobile testing laboratories used to do spot sampling and testing of fuel quality at all fuel retail stations as well as verifying and calibrating fuel pumps to ensure accuracy of measurements and value for money to the consumers.
As we move closer to the festive season, fuel dealers are urged to desist from fuel adulteration vices while Motorists and the public at large are urged to stay alert while buying fuel from the different fuel stations to avoid being cheated by taking the following precautions;
• Ensure that fuel is bought from fuel pumps with VALID UNBS stickers. This is confirmation that the fuel pumps were verified and calibrated by UNBS, thus, accurate measurements are dispensed.
• When buying fuel at a filling station, ensure that there is a “break” between the preceding delivery and the next transaction and the pump sales indicators are set back to zero. Keep an eye on sales indicator up to indication of desired volume.
• Two sides of the same fuel pump can indicate different quantity of fuel delivered due to wearing away of the Mechanical indicators’ gears. Pump attendants often take advantage of this when serving unsuspecting/ignorant motorists. Be vigilant.
• There’s a tendency of the fuel station’s management displaying lower prices on billboards to attract clients yet the actual pump prices are higher. The motorist then is often not aware that he gets less of anticipated fuel. Be alert.
• Mistakes in setting new pump prices. Though not very common, pump technicians may make errors during setting of new pump prices. E.g. a mistake may arise where, say, Shs 200,000= is paid and the pump actually delivers Shs 20,000= worth of fuel, or vice versa. Be vigilant.
The public is urged to report any cheating tendencies by fuel stations to UNBS using Toll Free line 0800133133/0800233233 or using our WhatsApp line 0713227580.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a Government Agency responsible for developing, promoting and enforcing of national standards in the protection of Public Health and Safety, and the Environment against harmful and sub-standard products.
For more information, please contact:
Principal Public Relations Officer,
Uganda National Bureau of Standards,
Plot 2 - 12, Bypass Link, Bweyogerere Industrial & Business Park,
P.O Box 6329 Kampala, Uganda.
Mobile Tel: 0703196903
Telephone: 256 417 333250 / Toll Free Line: 0800133133/0800233233