Market News

Covid-19 testing hitch delays cargo at Uganda border

trucks-malaba

Trucks pile up at Malaba border on September7. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • The backlog of trucks headed to the Busia border starts at Mundika town, 15 kilometres away, while the congestion at the Malaba border post is exceeding 30 kilometres, according to the East African Business Council (EABC) .
  • The regional business lobby urged East African Community member states to restock the reagents quickly to avoid further delays in clearance.
  • EABC and the Ministry of EAC also asked countries to embrace the electronic Covid-19 certificates that are issued on the digital platform that was established recently to minimise delays occasioned by the demand for a second testing.

A shortage of the Covid-19 testing reagent at the Malaba and Busia borders has affected movement of goods between Kenya and Uganda, with lorry traffic stretching more than 30 kilometres from the crossing point as drivers await testing.

The backlog of trucks headed to the Busia border starts at Mundika town, 15 kilometres away, while the congestion at the Malaba border post is exceeding 30 kilometres, according to the East African Business Council (EABC) .

The regional business lobby urged East African Community member states to restock the reagents quickly to avoid further delays in clearance.

EABC and the Ministry of EAC also asked countries to embrace the electronic Covid-19 certificates that are issued on the digital platform that was established recently to minimise delays occasioned by the demand for a second testing.

“It is critical for transporters in the region to embrace the recently launched Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System to improve the truck out-turn and allow partner states to electronically share truck drivers' test results, minimising need for multiple Covid-19 tests in a single trip,” said Peter Mathuki, chief executive EABC.

The delay has seen more than 2,400 trucks destined to Uganda yet to be cleared, a move that has disrupted cross border trade with serious ramification on the economy of both countries.

According to EABC, most Ugandan truck drivers are travelling without Covid-19 certificates with plans of being tested at the borders, thus the increase in demand of reagents leading to delays in testing.

The bottleneck threatens trade between the two countries, which is rebounding with Kenya’s exports to Uganda standing at $88 million as at August, a jump from $53.9 million in the same period last year.

Uganda exports to Kenya stood at $46.9 million as at August 2020 a slight decline from $48.3 million recorded last year according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics

Kenya’s key imports from Uganda include milk and cream, tobacco, cane electrical energy and plywood among other goods. On the other hand, Uganda’s imports from Kenya include palm oil and its fractions, iron or non-alloy steel, petroleum oils and salt among other goods.

? 现金捕鱼游戏