Truck drivers at risk as Kenya, Uganda work to resolve Malaba border standoff

By HSE East Africa | Tuesday May 26, 2020

A meeting between senior government officials from Kenya and Uganda resolved to open up the border and end a standoff that has seen a heavy traffic snarl-up that stands at more than 50 kilometers on both sides of the border.

This comes after Kenyan truck drivers alleged tough conditions they are going through including; harassment, discrimination and stigmatization from the agitated local community as well as as harassment by Uganda’s security forces.

The truck drivers have called upon the government of Uganda and that of Kenya to urgently resolve the situation at the Malaba one stop border point before its ensues into a disaster.

In a statement, the Kenya transport Association CEO, Denis Ombok said the current situation at the border is unacceptable and poses a very dangerous health and safety risk in the spread of covid-19. According to Ombok, some trucks carry fuel and other dangerous cargo and yet they spend longer hours in traffic jam adding that interactions between the truckers and the community is ongoing which risks the spread of covid-19.

He adds that there are no social distancing measures and sanitary conditions are wanting and yet they also have no access to food and water.

At the beginning of this month, truck drivers at this border point went on strike protesting against the stringent covid19 guidelines imposed on them.

Government has since kicked off mass testing for all truck drivers at the various border points of entry.

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