HIV AIDS Along Mombasa Nairobi Malaba Kampala Highway “The Devils Highway”

3 years ago

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Here is a documentary investigating Spread of HIV along the northern corridor – a major a 1200 kilometer highway that links port of Mombasa in Mombasa town to Kampala, Uganda. From there it feeds to Southern Sudan, Rwanda, DRC, Burundi and Northern Tanzania. Kenya Cystoms Clearing Agents

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“The Devils Highway” called so due to its notorious accidents and traffic deaths is also a hot spot for the spread of HIV virus by truck drivers.

Shipping a container from China to Mombasa port cost less than moving it from Mombasa to Kampala. East Africa is known to have the most expensive transport costs in the world, which make trade expensive leading to low rates of growth and economic activities in the region. Cargo transport within Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda is improving as Governments invest more in infrastructure.

With Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia using Mombasa port for their external trade, the transport chain between Mombasa and hinterland is a key area of concern for shippers.

The first – or last – link in the chain is the port itself and a key priority for Kenya Ports Authority has been to enable, and
encourage, the removal of cargo from the port as quickly as possible. In this regard it has been moderately successful, with container dwell times almost halved in recent years while throughput has risen significantly.

By using modern ICT systems, more efficient yard equipment, off-port container stations and, of course, the inland container depots at Kisumu and Nairobi, Kenya Ports Authority is meeting the challenge of speeding the flow of cargo. Having put its own house in order, however, it is also seeking and encouraging improvements elsewhere.

Road Network

The Kenya Roads Board (KRB) is responsible for the upkeep of 63,000 km of classified roads in Kenya. Only 14% of these are surfaced, the rest being gravel or dirt roads.

A long-overdue upgrade of the main highways is now under way. The main highway between Nairobi and Mombasa has already been refurbished, leading to much reduced transit times between the two main centres.

Other projects are under way to transform the region’s road network. One is the Mombasa – Nairobi – Addis Ababa Road Corridor, co-financed by the African Development Bank Group, the European Union, and the government of Ethiopia and Kenya. An estimated US$ 500 million is being spent to improve transport links between the two countries.

Another project of key importance is the proposed southern by-pass of Mombasa. This will greatly ease the flow of traffic transport north and south as well as encouraging more trade links with northern Tanzania.

Kenya Rail Way Network

Perhaps even more pressing is the need for an upgraded rail system in Kenya. Most of Kenya’s existing rail system uses 1 metre
gauge track dating from the 1890s. Too narrow for the reliable movement of loaded containers.

Because of this, less than 4% cent of Mombasa port’s freight goes by rail. Transport costs are generally high because of the dependence on expensive trucking. A more efficient rail network could reduce transport costs by at least 30 per cent, say forecasters.

Upgrading the region’s rail network presents huge challenges. Nevertheless, all five members of the East African Community have agreed to build a new standard gauge network.

Rail operations in Kenya have been concessioned to Rift Valley Railways (RVR), while Kenya Railways continues to oversee the service.

The 1,920 km track between Mombasa and Malaba will be replaced by standard gauge track by 2017, with branchlines to Moyale (for Addis Ababa) and Lodwa (for Juba) at a cost of some US$ 5.2 billion. The railway project will be fully completed by the year 2050.

The Mombasa – Malaba – Kampala line is the first of four phases. There will also be a line from Lamu to Lokichogio, which will connect with Juba in South Sudan. These projects are part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 development plan and their importance cannot be overstated.

The Port of Mombasa handles about 20 million tonnes of cargo per year. The forecast is only upwards and, without an ugraded rail system, within a few years one truck will have to leave the port every minute of every day to keep up with demand. This is clearly unsustainable, so the modernisation of the rail system is not only necessary but essential.

In the long term, the idea of a rail link between Lamu and Douala, in Cameroon, is also being explored. This would reduce haulage time to just four and a half days compared with 25 days by sea.


The Struggle Continues

7 thoughts on “HIV AIDS Along Mombasa Nairobi Malaba Kampala Highway “The Devils Highway””

  1. WHY would they want to end AIDS in Africa or ANYWHERE for that matter? Africa is a fertile testing ground and a target rich environment full of people that no one REALLY cares very much about. They're starving anyway, its over populated, and their black, so no one is OVERLY CONCERNED about their eventual plight. The money is in the TREATMENT and not the prevention. Diseases AIDS is a perfect storm because it generates TRILLIONS is prevention, treatment, and care and at the ame time it kills off the earths "LESS DESIRABLE ONES" and helps curb skyrocketing human population.

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