Busia — Long distance truck drivers are now appealing to President-elect William Ruto to prioritize the provision of a lasting solution to the traffic jam along the Busia and Malaba borders.
Speaking to the press at Malaba, they lamented the long traffic stretch over 20km daily from Kanduyi junction to Malaba which has been a thorn in the sector.
Led by their chairman Peter Tanui, they want the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and customs officials to improve the scanning process which has been the main cause of traffic-jam witnessed at Malaba.
“The whole sager of heavy traffic is caused by KRA officials who are slow in the clearing of trucks at the custom. The scanning process has always been sluggish, one truck taking about 30 minutes to be cleared. This is very ineffective and costly in terms of time wasted and resources drivers waste,” noted Tanui.
Tanui also lamented over insecurity for drivers who spend more than 4 days from Mombasa to Malaba citing incidents where drivers have been found robbed or killed inside their trucks as they wait on long beats in the traffic.
“In the recent days over 8 drivers have lost their lives in unexplained circumstances between Mombasa and Malaba. The security of drivers has always been of less concern to the government and the owners,” he added.
The sentiments were echoed by Ezekiel Wachira who urged the government to consider expanding the road from Webuye to Malaba to ease the traffic.
“Despite transport sector being a key revenue contributor little effort has been shown towards improving the sector. There have been delays in remitting the result of many weighbridges on the road from Malaba to Mombasa,” noted Wachira.
The drivers are now appealing to the new regime to FastTrack the dueling of the road from Webuye to Malaba, and Oyugis to Busia town to reduce truck traffic witnessed on a daily basis.
“We appeal to the president to consider our plights in the transport sector. The county government of Busia through governor Otwoma must also work on trailer Packs to offer an alternative solution to the sector,” said Jeff Mururi, another long-distance driver.
Approximately 1,000 cargo trucks pass through the Malaba One Stop Border Post each day, while the one in Busia handles an average of 600 trucks.
The drivers have also been urged to have self-discipline and minimise overlapping to help minimise unnecessary traffic jams.