Coronavirus Nightmare in Border Town of Busia - Gov Ojaamong Speaks

  • Kenya-Uganda border crossing post in Busia County.
    Kenya-Uganda border crossing post in Busia County.
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  • The busy border town of Busia is currently facing a nightmare scenario in regard to potential exposure to Covid-19.

    A statement issued by the County Governor Sospeter Odeke Ojaamong, on April 20, highlighted Ugandan citizens and truck drivers as two major threats that need to be addressed with utmost urgency.

    "The Busia County Covid-19 Committee held a meeting with County leaders to deliberate on various issues regarding Coronavirus pandemic, among them was the influx of Ugandans and other foreigners from Uganda into Kenya through porous borders is worrying, security apparatus should ensure that is stopped with immediate effect," Ojamoong stated.

    Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong (2nd from the right) and other county officials pictured at the Agricultural Training Centre on April 20, 2020.
    Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong (2nd from the right) and other county officials pictured at the Agricultural Training Centre on April 20, 2020.
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    The county boss wondered why despite the closure of Kenya and Uganda border, citizens from the latter have continued to cross the border through Panya routes to hawk their goods in Busia.

    "The Ugandan government has barred Kenyans from crossing into Uganda, we are very lenient to Ugandans who are allowed to stream into the country with impunity, less oblivious of the Covid-19 pandemic which is ravaging the world,

    Despite this, Ugandan authorities announced that they would dump Kenyans who tested positive to Covid-19 on the Kenyan side of the border," he lamented

    He went on to express his fears that the congestion of trucks at the border town was a disaster waiting to happen, terming it as the biggest threat to the fight against the spread of the infectious virus. 

    "The county still faces Covid-19 threats from truck drivers who come from counties which have tested positive to the vice.

    Governor Ojaamong was speaking at a leadership forum presided over by County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, where several Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) raised serious concerns over the rate of exposure faced by the county residents, due to the towns geographical location and importance to trade across the East African region.

    “Some of the truck drivers and their turn boys are coming from counties that have already recorded many cases of Coronavirus. They then mingle freely with our people," Marachi East Ward MCA Julius Ochou pointed out.

    On his part, Kanyiri announced that any undocumented Ugandan captured on the Kenyan side of the border would be placed under forced quarantine.

    The County Emergency Committee has so far received 1,235 alerts from members of the public about persons they suspected had the virus, the Standard reported.

    Long distance truck drivers line up before crossing into Uganda.
    File image of long-distance truck drivers lining up in Busia County before crossing into Uganda.
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