Business has come to a standstill at Malaba border as angry truck drivers have resolved to park their cargo trucks protesting the harassment they are subjected to by the communities both in Kenya and Uganda.
The industrial action has resulted into a 50 kilometer traffic jam on both sides of the road and no commercial operation is ongoing the moment which however, exposes the nearby communities into dire situation considering that truck drivers in East Africa are looked at as the new carriers of deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
The association of Kenyan transporters has since issued a statement highlighting the drivers’ grievances and also calling for Uganda and Kenyan government to intervene and save the situation before it worsens.
“Kenya Transport Association(KTA) wishes to ask the governments of Kenya and Uganda to immediately move to resolve the situation of Malabo Border where the traffic jam stands al more than 50 kilometres,” reads a statement.
“The drivers have genuine concerns and grievances and Kenya Transport Association supports their action of stopping the trucks until their grievances ore resolved,” adds the statement.
The current situation is unacceptable and is at a very dangerous health and safety risk level.
There are fuel tankers and other dangerous cargo in the traffic jam, the local population is getting agitated, the sanitary conditions are pathetic, drivers have no food and water, interactions with the local community is going on meaning Coronavirus could be spreading at a higher rate and no social distancing or any measures to stop the spread of the virus.
The drivers are facing very tough conditions and stigmatization while they deliver essential goods and services.
“We are asking the authorities to move in urgently to resolve the issue to avert a possible catastrophe,” Dennis Ombok the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Transport Association said.