THE situation at one of Zambia’s busiest border crosssings Kasumbalesa, calls for urgent attention towards finding a lasting solution to the traffic congestion which is worrying and not good for the development business between the two countries.
This is not the first time that truckers have complained over the delays to cross the border as this seems to be a daily cry and a thorn for many using this border post.
It is therefore sad to see long queues of trucks stuck for days on end trying to cross the frontier. Solutions need to be foundimmediately.
It is worth noting that the Kasumbalesa border post handles international traffic to and from sea ports of Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and South Africa.
The five transport corridors linking Beira (Mozambique) Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Walvis Bay (Namibia) and North South corridors all converge at Kasumbalesa, making it one of the busiest border posts in the region.
The high traffic volumes, hampered by other common problems of truckers have led to this perennial problem at the border post.
The concerns raised by the truckers are therefore genuine.
Of concern is also the high risk of contamination of disease worsened by the onset of the rainy season which is exacerbated by the few or lack of toilet facilities. It is a living nightmare to have 800 truck drivers or more crammed in one small area.
As the Zambian and Congolese authorities meet this week, it is everyone’s hope that the issue to deal with quicker clearance of trucks can be sorted out as it has been a source of concern for a long time.
It can be ideal time to ensure other borders such as as Sakania, Jimbe and Kipushi are developed to acceptable standards and help divert traffic from the busy Kasumbalesa as everyone wants to use the border because of its modern infrastructure.
President HakaindeHichilema has repeatedly called on the need to open up these areas so that trucks can be allowed to move into the DRC and trade without delays as is the case at Kasumbalesa.
There is need for government to ensure that the filter border infrastructure is worked on to help lift the burden on Kasumbalesa because the current situation is not conducive for efficient trade.
It is important for the two authorities to meet and check on the progress made on the resolutions that were made in June last year with the objective of resolving the traffic congestion on both sides of the border.
Thus it would important for the relevant authorities to check if the resolutions have worked efficiently and if not then what has caused the empasse. How best can the issue of congestion be dealt with to avoid both countries losing out on efficient trade opportunities.