April 19, 2024

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COVID19: Rwanda PSF boss urges vigilance despite the reduction of infection cases among truck drivers

Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Ruzibiza, said cases of covid19 infection among cross-border truck drivers have been reduced, however, people must be watchful and respect all measures set to contain the spread of the pandemic.

From the outbreak of covid-19, PSF has been working with different stakeholders to ensure that COVID-19 is contained and businesses mainly cross border movements is not hampered.

To enhance the existing Cargo Trucking system as well as strengthening cross border trade, truck drivers need to be protected during this unprecedented COVID19 pandemic.

In this line, PSF and Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) signed an agreement to provide the assistance by facilitating truck drivers with 110,853 face masks to protect their lives.

While witnessing the handover of that support to PSF on December 11, 2020 in Kigali, Stephen Ruzibiza, PSF Chief Executive Officer, said: “The number of infections among cross-border truck drivers has been reduced but that does not mean that people have to take it for granted. Providing truck drivers with face masks is part of existing measures to containing the virus spread.”

It is an initiative that will continue in the collaboration with Rwanda Private Sector Federation and the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency, to ensure that businesses continue without any problems, the Executive Secretary of the Central Corridor, Dukundane Dieudonnée, assures.

“The Central Corridor has been working even during the lockdown, and we would like to make sure that all drivers who use the central corridor route cannot easily be infected or infect others”, he says.

From March to June this year, the number of goods passing through the central corridor has reduced but from July now, the rate has increased again, and Rwanda Private Sector Federation has not been seriously affected as in other countries, according to Dukundane.

About 3,000 truck drivers and their assistants will benefit from the donation, according to Abdul Ndarubogoye, Chairperson of Rwanda Transporters Association (ATAR).

“The CCTTFA secretariat has been supporting us through the removal of NTBs that we encountered that used to delay and cause a lot of losses. So, we are happy of these face masks as they will help our drivers and their families to prevent them from getting infected with covid19.” He said.

Trucks shipping cargo into Rwanda are some of the very few vehicles that were allowed to enter the country following a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Among measures, human contact has been reduced by using information technology, where most of the client requests are handled online.

Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) is a multilateral agency formed in 2006 through an Agreement by the five Governments of the Republic of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda.

The CCTTFA is charged with the mandate to promote optimal utilization of the Central Corridor, encouraging the maintenance, upgrading, improvement and development of infrastructure and supporting service facilities at port, rail, lake, road border posts and along the route to meet user requirements, ensure open competition and reduce the costs of transit transport for land-locked Member States.

By Kanamugire Emmanuel

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