A breakdown of the non-intrusive cargo scanner at the Busia border post has left over 1,000 trucks stranded on the Uganda-Kenya border. The incident, which occurred on friday, has caused a major disruption in trade between the two countries, and efforts are underway to restore normalcy.
The cargo scanner, which is used to inspect goods being transported across the border, broke down, causing a backlog of trucks on both sides of the border.
No cargo or fuel-transporting vehicles had been given permission to enter Uganda from Kenya as of Saturday morning. According to Mr. Eric Ojambo, a Kenyan national, the line in Kenya stretched past Korinda on the Kisumu-Busia Road, which is more than five kilometers long.
“The congestion caused by the huge number of trucks has made it hard to access Kisumu and Bungoma, and our work has been hit because accessing passengers has become very hard too,” Mr Ojambo said in an interview at the weekend.
The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has acknowledged the problem and assured stakeholders that measures are being put in place to resolve it.
“There is no way we are going to allow trucks to enter the country without going through the scanning process, and that is why we have deployed an emergence scanner,” said Mr Geoffrey Balamaga, the URA manager for eastern region.
The breakdown has sparked concerns among traders and transporters who rely on the Busia border post for their business.
“Since Friday, I have been here at the Busia border waiting and spending a lot of money on food and accommodation; otherwise, I could have already crossed into Kenya by now,” said a truck driver, Mr Abdul Karim.
Authorities are requesting drivers to exercise patience and cooperation with staff members at the border post as they work to reduce the bottleneck of trucks.
The incident emphasizes the requirement for investments in vital technology and infrastructure to facilitate cross-border trade and increase effectiveness at border crossings.