By Johnson Friday
Busia County Governor HE Sospeter Ojaamong recently came out vehemently to oppose the proposed construction of a dry port by Uganda in Niavaisha town of Nyandarua County. He instead asked the president Uhuru Kenyatta to have same constructed in Busia County, considering the distance between the capital Kampala and the border county of Busia.
He implored on president Uhuru to reconsider the decision as this may have punitive economic effects on the border point and negatively affect the economy of the larger western region.
Similar concerns have been aired by Engineer Vincent Sidai and the Busia County Women Representative Hon. Florence Mutua. The two leaders intimated that the plan will render Malaba border an only transit point for the Standard Gauge Railway.
The areas Business community, through their chairperson Mr. Eric have protested angrily to the Naivasha dry port citing loss of business which is a risk the security of the area.
Busia County has three major border points, the Busia town border point, the Malaba border and the Mulwanda border point. The latter has been under utilized for a very long time. There have been attempts to open the point but there hasn’t been political will from both local and national government to that effect.
Its encouraging to note that the Ugandan government has made tremendous works on their side by opening up roads leading to the Mulwanda border point. On the other side the Kenyan government is undecided on what to do or how to go about it.
The three border points face eminent impotency by the construction of the Naivasha dry port. If the cries of the Busia people will go unanswered then it’s expected that the county economy will be adversely affected, from revenue loss, loss of employment and businesses.
This presents the reality of a bleak and uncertain future for the border county’s economy and livelihoods.