( ENA) Ministry of Transport has launched today the construction of Dewele Cross-border Truck Terminal that provides COVID-19 testing and screening as well as others services to truck drivers. 

The construction of another terminal, Galafi Cross-border Truck Terminal at the border area of Afar Region will also begin soon, it was learned. 

The Dewele Cross-border Truck Terminal located at the Djibouti border via Somali Region is being built in response to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 at border areas.

The terminal, which is expected to accommodate 200 trucks at a time, will provide parking services for Ethiopian trucks moving to and from Djibouti.

It will consume about 170 million Birr and be completed in a month, it was learned.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges said the terminal will play a pivotal role to curb the spread of COVID-19 across borders.

With the increase of COVID-19 in neighboring countries, including Ethiopia, it is crucial to  strengthen mitigating capacities in border areas, she stressed.

According to the minister, over 1,200 cross-border trucks enter the country through Galafi and Dewele routes. The movement requires attention in order “to protect the safety of our drivers and halt the pandemic at borders.” 

The major import-export of Ethiopia passes through this route, Dagmawit  said, adding that the government has therefore given attention to mitigate the effect of the virus on the import-export activities of the country.

She further stated that Ethiopia has been working to implement the standard prepared by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) regarding truck drivers operating in the eastern part of Africa as a response to containing the spread of COVID-19.

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