Kenya has offered Uganda land to build a dry port for its cargo in Naivasha as part of the Standard Gauge Railway project.
This was revealed on Thursday during President Museveni’s three day visit to his Kenyan counterpart.
A dry port is an inland inter-modal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
Speaking during a state dinner in Mombasa, Kenyatta told his Ugandan counterpart that when the SGR project reaches Naivasha in August, then Ugandan can construct their own dry port.
“My government will avail land for Uganda to develop a dry port for its cargo, “Kenyatta said.
“I have confirmed to President Museveni that with that development in Naivasha and then moving the SGR to Malaba, goods will be able to move from Mombasa to Malaba in just two days.”
With the construction of a dry cargo at Naivasha, cargo destined for Uganda would now have a reduced distance unlike before when it had to move from Mombasa to Malaba which is over 900 kilometres.
Mombasa port is currently the biggest entry point for cargo in the East African region countries including Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and also Democratic Republic of Congo with Uganda working as the conduit through which the goods pass.
The Naivasha dry port will now link Uganda’s Standard Gauge Railway project to Kenya.
On his side, President Museveni applauded the Kenyan government for ensuring goods destined for Uganda are cleared in the shortest time possible at the Mombasa port.
“It is something we had grappled with for a while but was fixed the moment President Uhuru came to office. We also look forward to partnering on other projects with our Kenyan brothers. For example, they have offered us land to build a dry port at Naivasha,” Museveni said.
The Ugandan president said his government will continue partnering with Kenya on a number of joint projects including the Standard Gauge Railway.
“We shall also take advantage of the petroleum facility built in Kisumu so that we transport our petroleum products across Lake Victoria and save our roads from wear and tear occasioned by the heavy trucks.”
Museveni insisted that the Standard Gauge Railway will help to greatly reduce costs and ensuring goods arrive safer.
The Ugandan president has always insisted that with revamping of water transport (for fuel transportation), construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and rehabilitation of the old gauge railway, the roads will no longer be used for transportation of goods.
“Roads will now be left for those who have nothing much to do but rumour mongering,”Museveni said recently.