Uganda Moves to implement the East Africa Vehicle Load Control Act
The Ugandan government has instructed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to align its vehicle load limits with those recommended in the East Africa Vehicle Load Control Act that was passed by the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) in May.
In a letter dated August 23, 2013 and addressed to the acting Executive Director of UNRA, the Minister for Works and Transport Mr. Abraham James Byandala contends that the East Africa Vehicle Load Control Act seeks to harmonize the enforcement of vehicle load limits in the region in order to facilitate trade and as such, its implementation should be across board."Its prudent that Uganda aligns its vehicle load limits to those recommended under the EAC Vehicle Load Control Bill, 2012 just as Kenya has done," reads the letter in part. The government of Kenya, through a gazette notice published by the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure in June, aligned the traffic act with the regional act in a moved that was well received by the transport fraternity and traders in the country and beyond. President Kenyatta further instructed Kenya National Highways Authority and the Kenya Police Service to ensure that transit trucks are only weighed at the first and last weighbridges and to remove all roadblocks along the Northern Corridor route.
This move has greatly enhanced truck transit time from Mombasa to Malaba border to 3 days compared to 7 days or more in the preceding period."This is therefore a directive to UNRA to immediately revise and enforce the vehicle load limits in line with the EAC Vehicle Load Control Bill and by a copy of the same letter, request the Permanent Secretary to prepare statutory instrument ratiftying this directive," concludes the letter.
The directive has already been communicated to weighbridges across the country and implementation has commenced in earnest. "We are already implementing the directive by the minister," stated Catherine Nabuwa, the Mbale Weighstation Assistant, during a visit by the Northern Corridor survey team comprising key public and private sector stakeholders involved in trade along the corridor.
According to data availed by KPA, Uganda takes about 73 per cent of the total share of transit passing through Mombasa Port, followed by South Sudan at 11.6 per cent, DRC at 7.3 per cent, Rwanda at 3.9 per cent, Tanzania at 2.8 per cent and Burundi at less than 1 per cent. Faster implementation of the harmonized load limits, automation and harmonization of the border processess, improved security and removal of the numerous roadblocks on the Malaba - Gulu - Juba transit section will inevitably enhance trade along this section of the corridor.