Uganda: All Cargo to Uganda to Be Switched to Rail From June 1

(file photo).

Nairobi, Kenya — All transit cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan will from June 1 be picked from Naivasha and not Mombasa, or be transported by Metre Gauge Railway to Tororo, then Kampala.

Fuel products will be transported by pipeline to Kisumu and thereafter through Lake Victoria to Port Bell or Jinja.

The decision was Friday communicated by Kenya's Minister in charge of transport James Macharia, who said the decision comes after a go ahead was given at the May 12th East African Community video conference of the Presidents of Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan.

"All transit cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan will be transported either on standard gauge railway (SGR) for clearance at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha or Metre Gauge Railway to Tororo-Kampala. All transit cargo railed to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha will be collected by trucks to the Partner States via Busia or Malaba," Macharia said in a statement.

It is one of several measures being taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by truck drivers. Majority of positive tests for COVID-19 in Uganda are of truck drivers.

*****

FULL NOTICE

NOTICE ON TRANSIT CARGO

The Heads of State, Their Excellencies President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda; President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya; President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and President Salvar Maryardit Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan during their Consultative Meeting of the East African Community held by Video Conference on 12th May 2020 considered the current status of the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the region and directed the Ministers responsible for Health, Transport, and EAC Affairs to adopt a Digital Surveillance and Tracking System for drivers and also as the Focal Persons to immediately work on a Regional mechanism for monitoring of truck drivers to reduce the impact of the Pandemic.

Following the directive by the Heads of State, the Partner States Ministers in charge of Transport, in recognition of the need to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic within the Region, have considered appropriate cross border transportation modalities to reduce human traffic movement without impacting negatively on transportation of cargo across the borders and consequently direct as follows:

The Nairobi - Naivasha SGR Project is part of the proposed Mombasa - Nairobi - Malaba /Kampala Standard Gauge Railway Project and therefore, the Mombasa - Naivasha SGR, which has overall length of 600 kilometre up to the Inland Container Depot at Naivasha will reduce the road distance to three Partner States of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan by 600 kilometres, and will subsequently reduce interactions along the corridor and thus facilitate the containment of the Covid-19;

Since Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) as the lead agency on port matters has provided requisite office accommodation to the Kenya Revenue Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority and the South Sudan Revenue Authority, deployment of the staff to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha is expected to be finalised to ensure smooth clearance of the cargo;

All transit cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan will be transported either on standard gauge railway (SGR) for clearance at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha or Metre Gauge Railway to Tororo/Kampala. All transit cargo railed to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha will be collected by trucks to the Partner States via Busia or Malaba. Further, fuel products will be transported by pipeline to Kisumu and thereafter by lake Victoria to Port Bell or Jinja;

All the transit cargo/containers transported on SGR will be armed only at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha to be tracked through the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System; and

All exports (both full and empty exports) not railed on metre gauge railway will be delivered to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha for railage to the Port of Mombasa.

The directives will become effective after ten (10) days from the date of this notice and, for the avoidance of doubt, from 1st June 2020.

JAMES MACHARIA, EGH.

MINISTER IN CHARGE OF TRANSPORT

REPUBLIC OF KENYA

More From: Independent (Kampala)

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