Kenya, Uganda to strengthen operations of regional rail services

Kenya is seeking to have more cargo destined for Uganda and East Africa hinterlands transported through its modern and rehabilitated rail network.

While speaking to the Ugandan Finance, Planning and Economic Development Parliamentary Committee which is in the country on a mission to ensure improved transportation of cargo between Kenya and Uganda, Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mahinga said cargo transport has continued to record increased activities boosted by the attractive rates of USD 860 per 20foot container from Mombasa to Malaba or Kisumu for onward transport to Uganda via rail or Lake Victoria marine services respectively.

Mainga said since the completion of the 24km railway link connecting the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) at Naivasha Inland Container Depot (NICD), Kenya Railways has seen an increase of both imports and exports transportation via rail due to the enhanced seamless transportation of cargo.

Uganda bound cargo loaded at the Port of Mombasa is transported via the SGR and transshipped onto the MGR at the Naivasha depot for onward transportation to Malaba.

Mainga reiterated that the railway line offers a service that is premised on safety, efficiency and reliability.

“It is also convenient for East African partner states that will not have to cover an entire 572 kilometers by road between Mombasa and Naivasha”, he added.

Since completion of the link line, KR has transported over 40,000 tonnes of both containerized and conventional cargo through NICD.

On the other hand, export volumes from Uganda have also increased due to simplified processes at the NICD facilitated by Kenya Railways, Uganda Railway Corporation, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and Uganda Railways Authority.

“The East African Member States are undertaking Railway infrastructure improvement initiatives with a view to facilitating cross border trade and enhancing economic development,” said Henry Musasizi , Uganda Minister of State General Duties.

The NICD has a capacity to handle 120,000 TEUs annually mostly transit cargo to the Great Lakes Region including Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, which account for 30% of imports and exports through the Port of Mombasa.

According to Mainga, the corporation holds a strong safety record and will strive to ensure incidences are minimized, adding that there is a Goods in Transit Cover for goods moved on Railway network.

  

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