GCLA transforms services with modern machines

LABORATORY analysis including forensic investigation at the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority (GCLA) will now be trans- formed following acquisition of modern equipment and machines, thanks to the investment made by President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s bold leadership.

Chief Government Chemist, Dr Fidelice Mafumiko (pictured) revealed that yesterday in a meeting with editors and reporters in Dar es Salaam, a session held for the objective aim of highlighting success attained by the authority in a period of two years since Dr Samia assumed office.

He said the huge investment undertaken by the government in terms of infra- structure, modern machines and equipment will fast-track provision of analytical laboratory services and timely delivery of results.

Dr Mafumiko said that in 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years the authority purchased eight large machines and 134 small ones worth 9.3bn/-, adding the machines have been installed at the authority’s laboratories in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza, adding that there are being fixed at the Dodoma office.

“We believe that this in- vestment will speed up pro- vision of analytical laboratory services, provide timely results and reach majority of citizens,” he said.

He identified the machines which have been purchased by the government as Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GC-MSMS), Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (LC-MSMS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer (ICP-EOS) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS). The chief chemist said improvement in working tools has enabled the authority to surpass its target of sample testing.

Giving an example he said in 2021/2022 the average of sample tested was about 156,000 equivalent to 140 per cent of the target which was 111,000 samples annually. Dr Mafumiko said in the 2022/2023 financial year the number of samples tested increased to 212,000, equivalent to 134 per cent of the target which was 158,600 in the year signaling stunning capacity of handling more samples.

He said chemical testing involving DNA has multiple uses such as treatment during kidney transplant, justice by establishing evidence on criminal offence such as poaching and safety in theft cases that require genetic evidence support. Furthermore, he said the government led by President Samia within a time frame of one-year (2021/2022) financed construction of the authority’s headquarters worth over 8bn/- to the country’s capital city of Dodoma.

On integrating Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the authority routine, he said GCLA introduced Customers Chemical Management Portal (CCMP) for registration of chemical stakeholders. He said the authority went far to formulate an electronic system for evidence provision whenever needed to save resource including manpower and money which could be spent by conventional means.

Dr Mafumiko said the chemical stakeholders has increased considerably from 2,125 in 2020/2021 to 3,371 in 2022/2023 due to creation of awareness on effective running of business in the field as well as ICT usage for instant registration.

“The number of permits for people importing and exporting chemicals has jumped to over 65,000 last year from 40,270 recorded in 2020/2021.

The strategic chemical including sulphur critical in minerals refinement reached over 1,018,000 tonnes in 2022/2023 from only 99,600 in 2020/2021” he said.

Dr Mafumiko said due to advancement of working infrastructure in two years the GCLA contributed about 2.3bn/- to the government coffers.

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