Engineers back the change from steel to plastic pipes

Local engineers have backed the call by Ministry of Infrastructure for people to use high quality plastic (polyethylene) pipes instead metallic ones in construction works.

Local engineers have backed the call by Ministry of Infrastructure for people to use high quality plastic (polyethylene) pipes instead metallic ones in construction works.

Plastic pipes, unlike steel ones, cannot rust. Rusty pipes have been blamed for the brown water that some Kigali residents worry can pose health risks.

Addressing manufacturers, suppliers and engineers on Tuesday during a seminar organised by the Rwanda Engineering Council and PLASCO Limited, a construction company based in Tanzania, MININFRA Permanent Secretary Christian Rwankunda, told the gathering that the ministry uses the plastic material often.

The meeting discussed the latest technological advances in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe production and installation and quality assurance.

However, Engineer Dismas Nkubana, Chairman of the engineers’ council warned about cheap poor quality plastic pipes had to be avoided even.

“The sewerage systems that we plan to build will need strong pipes that will be able to withstand high water pressure and earthquakes and tremors,” he reiterated.

“We hope Rwanda Bureau of Standards will test the quality of the plastic pipes on the market”, said Nkubana.

Evergiste Murekashungwe a lecturer at IPRC Kigali and consultant, also cautioned constructors against use of low quality plastic pipes because they are cheaper.

“Often contractors, following a tendering process, will order cheap, poor quality plastic pipes instead of the better version. We have to make sure that that doesn’t happen,’’ he said.

Jurg Fluhmann, head of PLASCO Limited, revealed that the company had already begun supplying pipes to the Kivu Watt project and WASAC (Water and Sanitation Corporation). He also informed the gathering that the company planned to set up a facility in Rwanda by 2017.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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