Community members living along the Kenya and Uganda border at Konyao area have set aside 200 acres of land to erect a new customs border point along the West Pokot County administrative boundary with neighboring country Uganda at Konyao area.
The custom point is meant to boost national revenue collection, ensure effective and controlled trade affairs between residents from the two countries, and stabilize peace.
The multi urgency team and the county security team visited the Konyao border on Tuesday to survey the piece of land set aside before the commencement of constructing the border point patrol.
The team which was led by West Pokot county commissioner Apollo Okello held a public sensitization with locals from both countries and thanked the locals for setting aside the 200 acres piece of land to facilitate the construction of the custom border point.
He noted that there are funds already set aside for the construction of the border point and they are only waiting for the title deed of the land to be processed.
“Acquisition of the land title deed is in the process so that the government can now come in and fund the construction of the offices which will facilitate trade between the two countries,” said Apollo.
He added that within two months the setting up of the border point will begin and by the end of this financial year the border point will be operational.
Okello urged residents to welcome the government’s move, saying that it will be beneficial to the locals and the county at large and further assured the team of maximum security.
“Most of the illicit trade is being conducted at the border because there is no border custom point to check on the goods, goods are being imported without paying tariffs or being taxed. The border point will help reduce smuggling of goods.” He said.
The Director of Border Management Secretariat (BMS), Kennedy Nyaiyo, added that they have been able to survey 26 potential points of entry along Kenya and other border countries for the past two years and in West Pokot county they have picked Konyao and Lokiriama as entry points to Uganda.
“Already 200 acres piece of land has been set aside, and will have a small committee led by the county commissioner who will be on the ground to reconfirm the acquired land so that eventually we have an allotment to our lead urgency Kenya Revenue Authority.” He said.
He added that there are adequate funds for Konyao and Lokiriama in Turkana border points construction so as to facilitate legitimate trade and travel.
“If you observe the porosity and nature of our borders they are very porous and the government loses a lot of funds. If we are able to seal all these cut lines and the border points are established then we shall see our economy growing.” He said.
He noted that integration will ensure that the government manages both legal and illegal movement of people and goods across the border in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.
The team consisted of representatives from the Immigration Department, East African Community, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, KEPHIS, Kenya Airports Authority among other relevant entities.
Residents supported the establishment of the border point which is about 200 meters away from the Uganda side.