Visually impaired block-makers being trained

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…through Government’s Community-based Employment Stimulation Project

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).

According to a release from the GNBS, the training takes place on September 22 and 23, 2021. During this period, the 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.

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.

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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).

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

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, Oneidge Walrond stated 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.

“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.

The Minister also acknowledged that there is a need to ensure durable blocks are manufactured locally to supply growing demands.

“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 said.

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.

Meanwhile, Programme Coordinator of the Guyana Council of Organisation for Persons with Disabilities, 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 Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues who lauded the GNBS for facilitating the training.

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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