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Poor roads hamper cross border trade

09 May 2013, 16:48 Mwangi Karanja

The poor condition of the road connecting Kenya to Uganda via Suam border has immensely affected cross border business, Trans Nzoia county governor Patrick Khaemba has said.

Speaking on Wednesday in Kitale during the county’s road inspection tour, Khaemba said that it has become impossible to trade with the neighboring Uganda country because the main road connecting the two countries is impenetrable.

“The former Member of Parliament of this area did not give infrastructure first priority; that is why the road got to this terrible state,” he said.

He added, “The country is losing millions of shillings as the border is not sufficiently utilized. We need to tarmac the road and encourage export of products to Uganda if we really want to improve the lives of our people.”

Last year, residents of Kwanza constituency staged a demonstration planting banana suckers on the road claiming that no repair had been made for the previous five years.

“During rainy season, we cannot transport our agricultural goods to Kitale or Uganda, a situation that has affected our livelihood completely,” they said.

Seed farmers from the area are also complaining that they have been forced to use tractors to transport raw seed to the seed company plant kilometers away, which is more costly.

During the inspection tour, Khaemba pledged to the Kitale town residents that the road network across the CBD would be repaired as potholes are increasingly causing accidents and traffic jam.

He cautioned contractors who were assigned to patch up roads in the County against doing shoddy work or delaying the projects.

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