GNBS offers training for block makers of the Guyana Society for the Blind

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is conducting a two-day training session for Block Makers who are members of the Guyana Society for the Blind, through a partnership with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). During the training on September 22 and 23, 2021, the small entrepreneurs will learn about the requirements of the National Standard for concrete hollow blocks, the technique for block-making and GNBS’ testing and certification programmes for the product.

(L-R) Minister of Housing and Water Hon Collin Croal, Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities Mr. Ganesh Singh, President of the Guyana Society for the Blind, Cecil Morris, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water Hon. Susan Rodrigues, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Hon. Oneidge Walrond and Executive Director (ag) of the GNBS Ms. Ramrattie Karan.

The objective of the training is to ensure that locally manufactured concrete hollow blocks are conforming to the requirements of the Guyana Standard Specification for Load Bearing masonry Concrete units (GYS 215:2003). The initiative is supported by the Community-based Employment Stimulation Project (CESP) as part of the Government of Guyana’s thrust to provide a better quality of life for all. As such, once certified by the GNBS, the concrete hollow blocks manufactured by the Block Makers will be used by the CH&PA to construct several houses at Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

During a short opening ceremony at the Blind Institute, High Street, Georgetown on Wednesday, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Hon. Oneidge Walrond stated that there is a need to ensure durable blocks are manufactured locally to supply growing demands.

Head of the Certification Department of the GNBS Ms. Andrea Mendonca conducting a part of the training on Wednesday.

“Quality and consistency of any product are extremely important. Despite the need for quality and consistency, it is well-known that many Block Makers sacrifice the quality of the blocks when in a rush to meet market demands or alternatively, in pursuit of lower costs and higher profits,” the Minister noted.

To ensure consistency, the GNBS Certificate is valid for one year during which there are surveillance inspections. If manufacturers consistently meet the requirements of the standard, their products are recertified.

Minister Walrond that a waiver will be granted for the certification of hollow blocks from the Guyana Society for the Blind as she spoke of the Government’s commitment to inclusivity.

Officers of the GNBS explaining and demonstrating the technique for block making at the Blind Institute, High Street, Georgetown.

“This particular event starting today clearly demonstrates that physical challenges do not have to be barriers to a successful life. It also demonstrates the commitment of our administration to the concept of one Guyana with a better quality of life for all Guyanese. We believe that no Guyanese should be disadvantaged regardless of race, creed, social status or as you see today- physical ability,” she added.

Meanwhile, Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities Mr. Ganesh Singh thanked the GNBS for facilitating the training which will help the block makers who are blind to manufacture quality products.

The event was also addressed by Ministers of Housing and Water Hon. Collin Croal and Hon. Susan Rodrigues who lauded the GNBS for facilitating the training.

Officers of the GNBS explaining and demonstrating the technique for block making at the Blind Institute, High Street, Georgetown.

The GNBS offers testing of concrete hollow blocks for compressive strength, moisture absorption and dimension. Hollow blocks of common sizes including 3 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches can be tested.

In addition, Block Makers desirous of joining the voluntary certification programme can fill an application form, which is accessible on the GNBS website, and submit it to the Certification Services Department to commence the process.

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