•These containers had been seized for various reasons including misdeclaration , smuggling among others.
•Oil industry players have expressed willingness to produce sanitizers for expedited manufacture and distribution.
Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) has released 18 containers of ethanol for the manufacture of sanitizers as the government moves to avert the looming shortage of alcohol based disinfectant.
This follows a government directive which instructed members of a Multi Agency Team (MAT) to urgently deliver to the Kenya Pipeline Corporation (KPC) the ethanol for onward distribution to the manufacturers.
The consignment of the ethanol totaling 396,000 litres was being held at the Port of Mombasa and various Container Freight Stations (CFSs).
This is part of the government’s concerted efforts aimed at combating the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
KPC has been asked to liaise with the oil industry players who have expressed willingness to produce sanitizers for expedited manufacture and distribution.
Speaking at the Port of Mombasa while releasing the containers, KRA Commissioner Customs and Border Control Kevin Safari, said the Multi Agency Team will supervise the blending to ensure the ethanol that left the Port of Mombasa is actually used for the manufacture of the sanitizers.
“These containers are those which we had seized and which we were holding under various offences including misdeclaration , smuggling among others but instead of destroying we have decided to put it to good use,” said Safari.
KPA’s general manager operations and harbor master Captain William Ruto confirmed that all the 18 containers which were stacked at the yard had been handed over to KPC.
“We have loaded the first four containers and immediately the four are delivered we will ensure that the rest of the containers are transported, the empties returned and handed over to the shipping lines,” he said.
This move comes after the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country rose to seven last week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of alcohol based sanitizers as one way of preventing the spread of the virus.