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PUBLISHED ON October 2nd, 2014

Transporters propose a dual transit highway to Kampala

KENYA has been urged to partner with Uganda to construct a dual carriageway from Mombasa to Kampala, a distance of about 1,200 kilometers.

The Kenyan business community says this will help boost trade along the Northern Corridor and reduce the high cost of transport and doing business in the region.

According to transporters, poor road infrastructure has made it difficult to manage traffic jams along the northern corridor where trucks lose up to six hours in drive time.

Increasing global fuel prices, state of security and storage from delayed cargo clearance have also been blamed for the high cost of doing business and transporting cargo in the region.

“Bad roads have continued to increase vehicle wear and tear and delays which are factored in costs of transport. This makes the last user of the goods who is the consumer to pay more,” said Siginon group MD Meshack Kipturgo, one of the major transporters in the Northern corridor.

Speaking to the Star in Mombasa Kipturgo said that the business community pays Sh5,800 per tonne from Mombasa to Garissa, a distance of 550 kilometres which is attributed to the poor state of the road and security concerns.

It costs businesses Sh3,000 per tonne from Mombasa to Nairobi a distance of about 500 kilometers.

“Some routes have poor state of security which has seen trucks only drive during the day. This pushes up the cost of transport as night driving poses a number of security and safety risks,” said Kipturgo who is also the chairman of the Container Freight Station Association.

He said such challenges contribute to poor truck turnarounds of 6,000 kilometers per truck per month instead of 12,500 kilometers.

The business communities sentiments were backed by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The government should prioritise construction of a super highway owing to the fact that Uganda is the biggest user of the port of Mombasa. It is our biggest market for transit cargo,” said KNCCI vice chairman Laban Onditi.

The entire Northern Corridor road network covers approximately 8,800 km across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the DR Congo.

Road transport accounts for more than 70 per cent of the total transit traffic flow within the Northern Corridor.

Key transit transport routes are from Mombasa to Bujumbura covering about 2,000 km of road distance, and the Mombasa – Kisangani (DRC) route which stretches for about 3,000 km.

The bulk of imports and exports destined to and from countries in the Corridor are transported through either of these transit routes.

Source: The Star

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.