PRESS RELEASE
FIRE ACCIDENT AT THE MALAWI BUREAU OF STANDARDS GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY

The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) is a statutory organization established in 1972 by an Act of Parliament, Cap 51:02 (revised as Act No. 14 of 2012), with a mandate to promote metrology, standardization and quality assurance of commodities and of the manufacture, production, processing or treatment thereof; and further to provide for matters incidental to, or connected with standardization.

We wish to inform the general public and all relevant stakeholders of the damage we suffered due to a fire accident which occurred at our General Chemistry laboratory on the night of Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018.
We operate 8 laboratory units, namely; Microbiology, Pesticides, General chemistry, Food chemistry, Petrochemicals, Radiochemistry and Materials. The fire that gutted our laboratories affected the laboratory units covering General and partly Food Chemistry. The fire started around 21h00 on 22nd August, 2018. The response from the Fire Brigade of the Blantyre City Council was commendably rapid when the incidence was reported to them. Despite the emergency response, a significant number of items were destroyed in the process, together with the infrastructure that houses the stated laboratory units valued at MK167million covering only glassware and other accessories and ceiling of the building.The cause of the fire has not yet been established, and investigations are underway to that effect.

We would therefore like to inform our stakeholders and the general public that a larger part of our laboratory units are still intact and testing services are continuing as normal in these laboratory units. The services offered through the affected laboratory units have since resumed after relocation to other laboratory rooms within the MBS. We have put up measures to urgently rehabilitate and capacitate the laboratory units that were affected so that we do not compromise on our mandate of promoting standardization and quality assurance in Malawi.

We wish to advise the general public, industries and relevant stakeholders that you can patronize our testing services as you were doing before the accident and should there be any capacity gaps, you will be advised accordingly. We are committed to ensuring that all operations are fully restored by 28th September, 2018.

We wish to convey our sincere appreciation to the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Honorable Henry Mussa, MP, for his moral support, and for taking his time to come in person to inspect the damage caused by the fire. We are also grateful for the bravery and rapid response to the fire incident by the Blantyre City Council, and to MBS members of staff who braved the night to help in salvaging some of the items from the fire incident. For the community at large, we thank you for your understanding during this time.

For further information and clarifications please contact us as below:


Director General
Malawi Bureau of Standards
P O Box 946
Blantyre
Tel: 01 870 488, Fax: 01 870 756
E-mail: mbs@mbsmw.org