The Nyanza Regional Development Implementation Coordination and Migori County Development Implementation Coordination Committees have less than a week to ensure works on the Isebania One Stop Border Point (OSBP) facility at the Kenya/Tanzania border is completed for official launch within this Month.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Tanzanian counterpart, John Magufuli will jointly commission the facilities at Isebania and at Sirare Town across the border after completion of the multi-billion shillings’ offices on both sides later this month.
Beginning on Monday, members of the Migori CDICC led by Chairman Joseph Rotich, accompanied by officials from various border related agencies have been on the ground to inspect how the scaled-up works towards finishing the projects contractual assignments have been progressing on.
A meeting convened yesterday and attended by officials of the projects contractor, Vaghjiyani enterprises, Rotich said it was the responsibility of the contractor to do and finish all the works assigned to him by the end of this week in order to beat the deadline.
“There are a number of defects detected on the facility that must be completed before the official commissioning of the OSBP by the two Heads of the States,” he said, adding that officials of the two nations were working together to facilitate the opening of the offices.
“Our Tanzania counterparts are also working on issues regarding the OSBP facility on their side before the two Heads of State can be asked to jointly commission them,” said Rotich.
The OSBP is an initiative supported by the World Bank to allow quick services to be dispensed at the common borders of neighbouring nations.
Once in place, both goods and human cargo will be able to be cleared in one spot to curb wastage of time by transporters and passengers crossing the common border.
For instance, goods and passengers coming from Kenya to Tanzania will only be cleared in the country and allowed to proceed to their destinations in Tanzania. Likewise, goods and passengers destined to Kenya from Tanzania will be cleared in that country and allowed entry into Kenya without being subjected to a second check.
In this arrangement, immigration officials from the two neighbouring countries will be stationed in one building on the Kenyan side to handle goods and passengers destined to Tanzania from Kenya, while a similar set of officials will be based under one roof on the Tanzania side to handle good s and passengers crossing into Kenya.
For the OSBP to work effectively, it will be critical for the facilities to have a good communication system, working scanners and CCTVs, constant power supply and all border related agencies to remain vibrant all the time.
The Nyanza Regional Commissioner (RC), James Kianda is expected to visit the facility on the Kenyan side on Friday to verify whether it will be ready for commissioning anytime this month.
He will team up with his counterpart on the other side to jointly inspect the two facilities before inviting the two Heads of State to commission them on a date to be settled on, according Rotich.
By George Agimba