Ending a 10-year old standoff over a harmonised axle load limit across the East African Community (EAC) a member state, Kenya has finally agreed to adjust her limit to that in operations in Tanzania and Uganda.
At a stakeholders’ meeting in Nairobi over the weekend, representatives of the five EAC states – Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda -agreed to adopt a 56MT-axleload-limit, on a seven-standard axle, across the region.
This was after Kenya agreed to adjust her limit up from 48MT.
Tanzania’s and Uganda’s axleload limits have been at 56MT while Rwanda’s and Burundi’s limits have been 53MT.
The permanent secretary in the Kenya’s Ministry of East African Community, David Nalo, said the harmonisation, complemented by the one-stop Border Post Operations, would lead to increased efficient logistics for transit transporters who, in the past, incurred extra costs resulting from differentiated axle loading limits.
During the Nairobi workshop, the stakeholders received a summary of key findings, reached consensus on outstanding issues and developed a roadmap for the finalisation of the axle load control laws and regulations.
At another stakeholders meeting in June, Kenya had insisted on a limit of between 48MT and 52MT arguing that it was incurring a lot of expenses in repairing roads damaged by heavy trucks mostly destined for Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.
The EAC director for infrastructure, Philip Wambugu, told the East African News Agency (EANA) that the current status of different axle load limits in the EAC countries had been counter productive to the spirit of regional integrations. Without a common axle load limit, he said, the benefits of regional integration, being promoted under the EAC Common Market, would remain elusive.
The partner states agreed on all the 23 previously outstanding issues at the Nairobi meeting. These included overload fines, fees and charges, which will be subjected to further consultations during the formulation of regulations.
They also agreed on the mass limits for super single tyres, in which the partner states decided would be the 8.5MT per axle for 385/65R22.2 tyres.
The process to harmonised axle load controls in the region begun in 2001 and various technical studies have been carried out over the years to try and get the partner states to agree on uniform standards.
The axle load harmonisation process was supported by several EAC development partners, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development and the United Kingdom, Department for International Development.
Source The Guardian