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Congestion of trucks in Elegu worries Amuru leaders

FILE PHOTO: Trucks traffic towards the border. Clearance and COVID-19 testing is being carried out thus delays.

Amuru, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Amuru district leaders are concerned about the increasing number of trucks at the Elegu border post.

Joseph Ebalo, the Amuru district Internal Security Officer (ISO) says currently there are over 600 trucks parked inside and outside the designated parking yard.

He says the genesis of the truck congestion is from South Sudan because of  inadequate deployment of personnel controlling the customs and immigration offices on their side.

Michael Lakony, Amuru district LCV chairperson says some of the petroleum truck drivers have even resorted to siphoning fuel and sell to local dealers which increases the risk of a fire outbreak.

According to Lakony, some of the commercial sex workers within the town council have also resorted to renting houses where they take the truck drivers as they wait for clearance from the customs and immigration offices.

Lakony observes that this is also increasing the risk of spreading of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in case any of the drivers tests positive. Lakony now wants a police fire fighting truck deployed at the town council in case of any outbreak as well as security increased at the town council so that the girls and drivers are arrested to avert possible spread of the coronavirus and also other sexually transmitted infections.

Ezekiel Emitu, the Aswa region police commander says they contacted the director fire department at the police headquarters so that a fire fighter truck is deployed in the area.

Richard Omony, a resident and a vendor at Elegu border market says they are living in fear that another fire outbreak could occur given the number of truck drivers transporting fuel. In November 2019, fire gutted Elegu market razing down goods worth millions of shillings.

Omony says there is an urgent need for the police and government to talk to their South Sudanese counterparts so that work at the customs office is improved.

According to records from the immigration and customs office in Elegu, an average of 250 vehicles enter or exit the country daily.

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