By Faustine Odeke
Construction of the multibillion one stop border post facilities at Malaba and Busia border points has started.
Heavy machinery has been deployed to start demolishing the concrete yard to pave way for the construction of the new structures.
The sh31.6b project is being undertaken in joint venture by M/S Cementers Uganda and Cementer’s Ltd. Kenya for the next 12 months.
The project is funded through a loan from the World Bank and a grant from Trademark East Africa and the Government of Uganda under the trade and transport facilitation project.
Handing over the site recently, Benon Kajuna, the commissioner policy and planning, said the World Bank fi nanced the Malaba construction to the tune of sh15.71b, while Busia was fi nanced by Trademark East Africa at sh15.89b.
He said the work is part of the regional project being implemented in the East African member states of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and aims at promoting trade and transport facilitation in the region.
Kajuna said the scope of the work will include the construction of a customs facility that will include a goods inspections shed for joint inspection of Uganda bound cargo and also house control units such as the Uganda national bureau of standards and any other relevant agencies.
The works will also include the construction of a modern immigration facility, plant and animal health facility, security facility for cross border operations, commercial service providers and vehicle parking yard, fencing and lighting, road works and other utilities such as water supply, drainage, waste management, electricity and communications.
The project will be supervised by Fred Waiswa, the director of Arch Designs, who prepared the project designs and consultancy work.
Moses Sabiiti, the programme manager Trademark East Africa, said the organisation is also funding ASYCUDA WORLD, the system that allows 24-hour clearing of cargo using remote control, the electronic cargo tracking system and integrated border management system in both Malaba and Busia borders.
He said these have helped in the reduction of the clearance time at the border by 30% and saves traders $500m a year in reduced cost of clearing, adding that traders lose $500 per truck a day due to delayed clearance at the border.
Sabiiti said Trademark East Africa has also financed the construction of one stop border points in Mutukula, Mirama hills and Elegu/ Nimule worth $10m each and also upgraded the 37km Ntugamo-Mirama hills road from murrum to tarmac.