One-stop post to bet­ter trade in Marsabit

Make Cus­toms and im­por­ta­tion flex­i­ble, and pre­vent de­lay of goods at the bor­der

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Northeastern - LEWIS NYAUNDI @X_nyaun­diH

Kenya is wait­ing for Ethiopia to com­plete con­struc­tion of the one-stop bor­der point be­tween the two coun­tries so they can be linked and start op­er­a­tions, a gov­er­nor has said.

Marsabit Gov­er­nor Ukur Yatani said the cen­tre will pro­pel the county’s econ­omy and pro­mote devel­op­ment.

“The bor­der point will open this re­gion to devel­op­ment as it will en­sure trade is max­imised and at­tract in­vestors,” he said.

The bor­der point will pre­vent the de­lay of goods and re­duce the wait­ing time by more than 70 per cent, Yatani said. It will also make Cus­toms and im­por­ta­tion flex­i­ble as res­i­dents will ac­cess ser­vices at one point, he said.

Kenya and Ethiopia signed a bi­lat­eral agree­ment in 2011 to de­velop the joint bor­der point and road that will en­hance bi­lat­eral trade.

The bor­der post is funded by the African Devel­op­ment Bank at Sh843 mil­lion. The pro­ject will also link Marsabit to the Trans-Africa High­way that links Nairobi to Ad­dis Ababa.

DE­LAYED COM­PLE­TION

The Sh843 mil­lion bor­der pro­ject was set to be com­plete by May, but con­trac­tors sought an ex­ten­sion in the con­tract due to poor ter­rain that saw con­struc­tion halted a num­ber of times.

Speak­ing to the Star, one of the en­gi­neers said heavy rains made it dif­fi­cult for them to work, dis­rupt­ing progress.

The en­gi­neer said it took longer than they had planned to con­struct the bor­der point due to poor co­or­di­na­tion with the Ethiopian side.

“The ter­rain here was quite chal­leng­ing and the rains also are a chal­lenge when con­struc­tion is un­der­way,” the en­gi­neer said.

The con­trac­tors also said hos­til­ity and in­ter-eth­nic con­flicts be­tween com­mu­ni­ties from Kenya and Ethiopia dis­rupted their work.

But they are on sched­ule to com­plete the pro­ject by De­cem­ber and will wait for the Ethiopian side and the Trans Africa High­way con­struc­tions to be com­plete be­fore op­er­a­tions at the bor­der point start.

/LEWIS NYAUNDI

Marsabit Gov­er­nor Ukur Yatani on Oc­to­ber 26

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