Residents of Busia and Bungoma County have been left to witness one of the largest traffic jams created by thousands of trucks that have been denied entry into Uganda.
According to witnesses, the trucks have stretched from the Malaba border in Busia to Bungoma via Kanduyi shopping center all the way to Webuye.
On Sunday, the drivers staged a demonstration citing frustrations at the border. They say authorities in Uganda are branding them as Covid-19 carriers and those who manage to pass through the border are denied accommodation and food in hotels.
Uganda has been strict about allowing truck drivers from Kenya into the country requiring them to be tested for Covid-19 both in Kenya and immediately they enter Uganda.
The process of testing for Covid-19 at the border has been hindered by the high numbers of the drivers as well as the slow response from health workers both in Kenya and in Uganda.
The truck drivers say they have been waiting at the border and on the road for over five days with no hope of them being helped by the two governments.
Residents of Bungoma and Busia are now worried that cases of Covid-19 in the two areas that have so far reported less than 3 cases combined might rise as the truck drivers are currently interacting with the locals without adhering to precautions set by the Ministry of Health.
“Cases of HIV might also rise. Our girls are out of school and the majority of them are not sleeping in their houses. They are out here exchanging sex for money with the drivers,” said Moses Okumu, a resident at Kanduyi.
In Busia, a similar scenario is being witnessed. On Sunday, thousands of truck drivers held a demonstration with the majority of them without face masks, walking through the streets of Busia town.
“This is a disaster in waiting,” said Ahmed Namwamba to one of the local news channels.