Kenya-Tanzania link road helps boost regional trade
The upgrade of Voi-Taveta-Holili highway, a key link road between Kenya and Tanzania, has enhanced cross-border trade between the East African Community (EAC) member states.
Since its completion in 2016 the highway has eased movement of transit cargo from the Mombasa port through the northern corridor to Burundi.
Transporters said the transit route has reduced the distance from the sea port to the landlocked country of Burundi.
The road runs through Taveta in Kenya, then to Tanzania before going to Bunjumbura Burundi.
A driver, Joseph Obell of Multiple Haulers EA Ltd said the route has reduced the distance from Mombasa to Bunjumbura by 350 kilometres.
He said initially they used the Malaba border which was far, costly and exhausting.
The amount of fuel they use has significantly reduced as well, he added.
“We save time, energy and resources. Before this road was constructed we used to spend a lot of time on the road,” he said.
Another driver, Ronald Salimu said the road has reduced up to 300 litres of diesel per truck.
Many customers, he said, are now happy as their transit goods are delivered much faster than before.
“Customers used to complain a lot. There were delays because we used to spend a lot of time on the road but now our customers are satisfied,” Mr Salimu said.
Agricultural produce from neighbouring Tanzania and Taveta farms can now easily reach the various markets within the coastal Kenya.
Farmers and transporters used to incur exorbitant transport costs to ferry tomatoes, onions, bananas, mangoes, carrots, beans and other farm produce to the market.
“Sometimes our produce used to rot in the farms especially during the rainy season. Now it is easy to transport them to Tanzania or to Mombasa,” he said.
The Kenya Ports Authority is now planning to construct an Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Taveta town to ease cargo evacuation and delivery to Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.
KPA has already secured a 50-acre piece of land in Taveta to establish the Inland freight hub but construction of the facility is yet to commence.