Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Friday, May 22, explained implementation process of the deal that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta give land to Rwanda's Paul Kagame for a dry port in Naivasha.
The agreement was sealed following a virtual meeting between the two heads of state and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Salvar Maryadit Kiir (South Sudan).
It's during the same consultative meeting of the East African Community heads of state that the current status of the Covid-19 outbreak in the region was considered. The heads of state then directed Ministers responsible for Health, Transport, and EAC Affairs to adopt a Digital Surveillance and Tracking System for all truck drivers across the community.
In a statement sent to the newsroom, CS Macharia noted that appropriate cross border transportation modalities to reduce human traffic movement were to be adopted without impacting negatively on transportation of cargo across the borders.
Among the measures announced were, that all transit cargo destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan would be transported by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to 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," he stated.
CS Macharia stated that the new directives will become effective from 1st June, 2020.
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 an overall length of 600 kilometres 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 km, and will subsequently reduce interactions along the corridor and thus facilitate the containment of Covid-19.
He added that Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) as the lead agency on port matters had provided requisite office accommodation to the Kenya Revenue Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority and the South Sudan Revenue Authority.
Staff from those countries would, therefore, be deployed to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha to ensure smooth clearance of the cargo.
Additionally, the CS announced that all transit cargo transported on SGR would be armed only at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) at Naivasha to be tracked through the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System.
"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 transporting to the Port of Mombasa," he added.
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