Trucks congestion at Kenya, Uganda borderline drops from 4000 to 2500

Cargo trucks backlog reduced at Malaba Border but for how long?

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The buildup file of trucks stuck between Kenya and Uganda border at Malaba have been reduced from over 4000 vehicles to 2500 Lorries.

Arusha-based, East African Business Council together with Trademark East Africa recently held a public-private dialogue at Malaba One-Stop Border Post, to address the issue.

Abel Kagumire Commissioner of Customs Uganda Revenue Authority assured the East African Business Council (EABC) that the backlog of trucks at Malaba border will be cleared and normalcy will return by Wednesday 26th January 2022.

The Ugandan official claimed that so far the backlog of 4000 trucks has been reduced to 2500 vehicles on queue.

It was also reported that the length of the lineup has also been cut down from over 40 kilometers’ stretch to 25 kilometers, still long but at least the trucks are somehow moving.

Authorities say this is the result of implementation of the resolutions for the bilateral meeting between the Ministers of Works and Transport of the Republics of Uganda and Kenya held a few days earlier.

Centipeding trucks, the long snaking line of lorries will soon be cleared…Sort of

John Bosco Kalisa, is the Chief Executive Officer of the East African Business Council. As far as he is concerned; “In future solution to Non-Tariff barriers to trade, should be derived without waiting for Ministerial and Head of State decisions.”

Kalisa advised that Responsive Border Committee should be formed to rapidly resolve future trade bottlenecks and Non-Tariff barriers to reduce the cost of doing cross border trade.

The EACB official feels there should be a borderless East Africa for free flow of cargo, urging closer collaboration among transporters, importers, exporters, cross-border traders, customs, immigration and other trade facilitation agencies on both sides of Uganda and Kenya.

Both Matia Etedu from the Ugandan Ministry of East African Affairs and Charles Omusana, the Principal Economist at the East African Community Secretariat called for a regional coordinated approach and innovative solutions to tackle Non-Tariff Barriers amid the pandemic for quick economic recovery and growth.

“Over 80 percent of cargo destined to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan from the Port of Mombasa pass via the Malaba border point,” said John Changole, Manager of Customs Kenya Revenue Authority at Malaba.

On average the Malaba OSBP clears 1500 trucks per day.

Simon Omondi of Kenya Transport Association stated that inadequate parking area and incomplete and narrow road causes delay in scanning of goods a process taking up to 10-15 minutes.

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