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Covid-19: Roadblocks to be removed to facilitate travel

Saturday July 04 2020
PIX

A police road block. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ANTHONY KITIMO

The government will remove roadblocks and increase the number of Covid-19 testing centres to facilitate faster movement of goods from the port of Mombasa.

East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said increasing cost of cargo transport is attributed to human-made delays, which have  increased turnaround time, thus affecting players in the transport and logistics sector.

Speaking at the Miritini Covid-19 testing centre during the launch of an awareness campaign against the spread of Covid-19 and stigmatisation along the Northern Corridor, the CS said he has already ordered a number of them to be removed.

"During my trip to this function, I stopped at a number of roadblocks mostly targeting truckers. The harassment is real and I have ordered them to be removed starting with the Athi River one, where there was a long queue," said Mr Adan.

He added: "We cannot continue harassing our drivers in our country yet they offer a very essential service and we shall be engaging with our other counterparts in the East African region to handle truckers in a humane way."

Due to inefficiencies along the corridor, truckers have adjusted transport cost upward with Kampala shippers forced to cough an extra Sh100,000. For Rwanda, shippers are paying an extra Sh140,000 while those in South Sudan and Bujumbura are paying Sh240,000 and Sh200,000 more respectively.

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Mr Adan said he will discuss with his counterpart in the ministry of health to ensure testing centres are increased to cater for high number of cargo crew willing to be tested.

"I have undergone the process and the facility can only test about 100 drivers per day yet we have more than 600 drivers who need to access port of Mombasa daily to evacuate cargo. Its true we need to do something on this and I hope MoH will designate more centres in the coming days," said Aden.

Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority executive secretary Nyarandi said the campaign will involve distribution of personal protective equipment to cargo crew.

The Kenya Revenue Authority announced that they have made Customs and Border Control operations at the Port of Mombasa as paperless as possible to beat the disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic and ensure business continuity,” he said.

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