Over 50,000 truck drivers have successfully been uploaded to the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS) since it was rolled out in September.
Principal Secretary State Department of East African Community Kevit Desai made the disclosure on Tuesday when he led a team from his Ministry and the private sector representatives to Malaba One Stop Border Post in response to complaints by industrialists that grain imports contained aflatoxin.
Desai said despite the initial challenges encountered in the usage of the RECDT system due to a high number of subscribers, its functionality has since changed and soon its efficiency would bear fruit.
“I have been assured that all the teething issues will soon be solved. The mobile app is designed to enable drivers receive their Covid-19 test results on their mobile phones once they download the app hence they won’t be required to travel to Coronavirus testing centres to collect their results,” he said.
He said in the next phase, their target was to provide information to the drivers on destination to enable them make decisions before they come to the border point.
He added: “More information will be provided in respect to the time left for their certificates to get ready and all these information and further sensitization will assist to create effective pathways for drivers and get them involved in the whole process of enhancing productivity and innovation.”
Last month, the East Africa Community Secretariat and its Partner States rolled out the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System, designed as a mobile phone application to enable the issuance of the EAC Covid-19 digital certificates that are mutually recognized by Partner States.
The reason behind the mobile app funded by the European Union, Global Affairs Canada, Danida, Finland, Netherlands and United Kingdom through Trade Mark East Africa was to eliminate the need for multiple testing and minimize congestion at the East Africa border crossing points.
The system provides a surveillance mechanism to monitor long distance truckers’ crew health and enable fast contact tracing as the partner states are able to electronically share truck drivers’ Covid-19 test results.
However, despite the introduction of the system, the border crossing points of Malaba and Busia have continued to witness long truck queues stretching to over 30 kilometers along the Malaba-Bungoma highway and Busia-Kisumu highway.
Long Distance Drivers and Conductors Association Chairman- Elijah Nyaga blamed the Ministry of Health for the long truck jams saying they ought to communicate in time to the drivers whenever they run short of Covid-19 testing kits and reagents.