The Ministry of Works and Transport has been advised to establish parking zones for trucks to avoid congestion on major highways and at border points.
Busia Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Macho Geoffrey, raised a matter of national importance during the plenary sitting on Thursday, 19 January 2023, saying that the trucks pose risks of fire outbreaks and accidents.
“Busia Municipality is flooded with trailers. The traders cannot work at all because the trailers have parked in front of their shops,” said Macho.
He was also concerned that the parked trucks are a hub for prostitution and he asked the Ministry of Trade to find a dry port for offloading goods.
Hon. Dicksons Kateshumbwa (NRM, Sheema Municipality) said the government should find out why the Uganda Revenue Authority Customs Department has failed to resolve the issue, despite installing tracking systems on the trucks.
“These trailers have tracking systems that alert when they overstay in one place. There might be other reasons as to why those trucks over the park,” he said.
This prompted Speaker, Anita Among, to direct the Minister of Trade to provide an action-taken report, indicating gazetted parking areas for trucks.
“It is not only in Busia; even in Bukedea, these trucks are parked along the roads. Accidents happen because trailers park on the roadside. Let us limit the number of vehicles in such areas,” she said.
Hon. Enos Asiimwe (NRM, Kabula County) cautioned that government should be cognizant of some locals who oppose the removal of the trucks from the towns because they are a source of income.
“When we try to get the trucks out of the town, the locals oppose, saying they are a source of revenue,” he said.
Hon. Medard Sseggona (NUP, Busiro County East) urged the government to borrow a leaf from the local authorities in Lukaya District who have established designated parking areas for trucks.
“The minister should come up with a detailed policy on how to handle the matter. We want revenue while minimising social risks and accidents,” Ssegonna said.
The Minister of State for Trade, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi, said that the government is considering establishing dry ports at border points.
“We are thinking about many areas, not only in Busia. Even Malaba, Elegu and Mpondwe are having this congestion. A dry port is a good idea because it generates revenue for the country,” said Ntabazi.
She said that an inter-ministerial committee that includes Trade, Finance, and Works Ministries has been put in place to ensure the matter is addressed.
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