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Covid-19: Trade suffers at borders

by biasharadigest


The government says it will enhance surveillance on the Covid-19 pandemic at the country’s border points as it balances between minimising disruption of trade and keeping people healthy.

Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman, while raising concerns that the regions have become hotspots for transmission of the virus, assured traders Friday that they will not be adversely affected.

“The sudden spike of cases is forcing us to put in place urgent but necessary measures to safeguard the lives of those involved and promote safe trade,” Dr Aman said in Busia.

He attributed the increase in cases of Covid-19 at the border point to the huge traffic snarl-ups caused by truck drivers who queue to deliver goods on either sides of the boundary.

 “We are at the stage of community transmission and people must observe the stipulated health protocols,” he said.

The European Union, in partnership with Trademark East Africa, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to various stakeholders at the border.


Led by EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue, the team delivered safety gears worth Sh552 million to both Kenyan and Ugandan authorities.

The consignment included safety boots, reusable masks, infrared thermoguns, reusable face masks, hand sanitisers and gloves.

Cross-border small-scale traders raised concerns that Covid-19 had caused them huge losses and adversely affected their livelihoods.

The chairlady of the Busia Cross-Border Cooperative, Ms Mariam Babu, said the banning of border trade has adversely affected over 7,000 traders.

“Over 80 per cent of informal cross-border traders are women. This has caused strife in many families as women are unable to sustain their needs,” she said.

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