Cross Boarder Trade Boosts Businesses In Moroto Town


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By Steven Ariong

KARAMOJA: From late 1970s to 2007 Karamoja regions was a no gone zone because of the fight over cattle rustling no one wanted just to hear a ward Karamoja.

The insecurity had completely blocked the region from any development including   business until in 2001 when government launched disarmament exercise.

The successful disarmament opened up the region to the rest of the neighboring countries such as Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia. Currently there is serious booming cross border trade of beer and other building materials in between Karimojong of Uganda and the Turkana of Kenya.

This website has learnt that over 70% of food that the Turkana people consume in Lodwar, the main town of Turkana county comes from Uganda via Moroto district.

Turkana traders prefer crossing to Uganda and buy all the food staffs, drinks and building materials in Moroto where they can only drive one hour which is a  distance of 140kilometers from Lodwar to  Moroto town compared to 8hours that they have been spending driving from Lodwar to Eldoret about 500 kilometers.

It should also be noted that Moroto district alone consumes up to 15,000 crates of beer in a week of which 11,000 creates are taken to Turkana in a week.

The most consumed brand is Nile Special, Tusker Lager and Guiness which the Moroto traders sell to Kenyan traders at shs 60,000 per a create. Tusker lager and Guiness is sold at shs3500  a bottle while, Nile Special and Bell lager is sold at shs 3,000 while eagle lager is sold at shs 2,000 a battle.

On daily basis more than 8 Kenyan Lories carry beer from Moroto to Kenya day and night without any attack. Mr. Patrick Lokol one of the traders dealing in selling beer  in Moroto said a day he sells  about 30 crates of beer that earns him some good money.

“Am very happy for the current peace because we are benefiting a lot from the cross border trade which we used not to do,” Lokol said.

Mr. Peter  Wambede a Uganda trader supplying vegetables to Turkana in Lodwar town said doing cross border businesses has helped him gain a lot including paying fees for his children.

He said at first the Kenya security officers used to disturb Uganda traders who cross with merchandise to Turkana extorting money but the county assembly authority of Kenya warned the Kenya security officials not to disturb Ugandan traders.

Mr. Mathew Lorukale a beer trader from Lodwar said the current peace has made them realized true business. He said they used counter loses while getting drinks and vegetables from Eldoret due to the current insecurity between the Turkana and the west Pokot herders.

“Traveling on the route from Lodwar to Eldoret it’s between death and live because your not assure of making a returned journey due to the ambushes,” Lorukale said.

Mr. Jeremiah Lomorukai the governor of Turkana county  said the cross border trade between Karamoja and Kenya would double when the two governments constructs the road that joins Uganda and Ethiopia vial Moroto, Lodwar in Kenya.

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