1st October 2020
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EAC launches cargo movement tracking system

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Cargo trucks line up at the port of Mombasa on March 7, 2014 awaiting clearance. Photo/Kevin Odit

The East African Community has launched a surveillance system for tracking the movements of cargo and drivers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System will also help with the tracing of long-distance trucker’s crew in the region.

Truck drivers have been seen as a weak link to spreading coronavirus and partner countries agreed to devise means to reduce their contact with the community.

A statement issued by the EAC secretariat this week said the reliance on manual certificates and delayed test results at the borders has been the main reasons for long delays at border points.

Health officials stated that truck drivers who are tested for the virus do not wait to receive their results.

They say drivers also make impromptu stops in undesignated points, against the advice of the health officials.

Some are accused of crossing back into their countries of origin without being traced.

But the new system will speed up testing and tracing.

South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi will electronically share truck drivers’ coronavirus test results, reducing the need for multiple tests in a single trip.

The system was launched at Malaba on the Uganda-Kenya border and Mirama Hills on the Rwanda-Uganda border.

It is expected to support health-related protocols and facilitate safe trade in the region.

“It is expected that RECDTS will contribute to protecting lives, support health-related protocols and facilitate safe trade,” reads the statement.

The system is expected to benefit South Sudan, a landlocked country with limited domestic productions, and depends on imported food and manufactured products for its population from the region.

Most of these trucks carry goods from Mombasa, Kenya, through Uganda to South Sudan, Rwanda and the Republic of Congo.

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