Sh1.8bn yard to help ease truck congestion at Malaba border


Trucks form a queue at Bwema on the Bungoma-Malaba highway. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG

The traffic congestion at the Malaba border is expected to ease considerably once construction of the Sh1.8 billion marshaling yard is completed.

The yard, whose construction has started, will remove the trucks on the road where they currently park, improve efficiency at the border point while improving the welfare of the drivers.

The facility is being constructed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Currently, the trucks have to park on the roadside as they await clearance from the border officials, creating huge traffic that inconveniences other motorists.

KPA acting managing director John Mwangemi said the yard will offer a lasting solution to the constant traffic witnessed along the border point. The congestion sometimes extends to as long as 50km towards Bungoma.

The marshalling yard will have facilities such as an administration block, welfare centre, ablution block, clinic, boundary wall and security gate.

The clinic will offer Covid-19 testing which will be undertaken in liaison with the Ugandan medical personnel.

Last week, top KPA officials toured the 22-acre piece of land on which the yard will be built, to ascertain the project’s viability and ensure there is no encroachment that will hinder construction works on the property.

In 2020, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Northern Corridor stakeholders started inspection and certification of roadside stations (RSS) aimed at decongesting and reducing accidents.

The RSS programme, which sought to identify safe places for cargo crew, was launched in 2015 and identified 141 roadside sites within East Africa Community member states.

With improved efficiency at the Port of Mombasa, more trucks are expected to be cleared at the facility leading to an increase in the number of vehicles crossing to Great Lakes Countries.

The Mombasa port and Northern Corridor recorded an increased efficiency in the last quarter of last year even as cargo being hauled along the corridor grew.

According to Mombasa Port and Northern Corridor Community Performance report, the number of trucks using the corridor increased from 1,944 in the week ended October 8 to 5,044 trucks which were registered at Mariakani weighbridge.

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