One of the elements that brought Busia town to prominence is fact it is a border crossing. It has one of the official points that people cross to Uganda from Kenya, and the vice versa. Plenty of trade and people ply this route. Both side of the divide the town shares the same name in both countries.
For a town of is nature it is a pretty laid back place. The general expectation is the towns would have some very serious vested investments, surprisingly not. The place has plenty prime potential in many aspects that has not been tapped. All is out there, basically waiting to happen. Neither government has seen the need to make the plunge; save for the immigrations and customs points that are being upgraded to more modern facilities to handle future crossings and trade.
For a border crossing and transport hub of its magnitude receiving all manner of traffic; human, trade and otherwise, Busia is a mellow place. Traffic comes from a variety of places; Kisumu, Nairobi, Eldorate and as far as Mombasa, naming a few, it is a quiet place.
The town goes to sleep fairly early and not even the 24 hour open boarders can tempt them to stay awake through the night. Other than up and close to the Immigration entry/exit clearing point are a few huddled businesses. A tea and food shack, and a kiosk or two attending to the crossing travelers where they can grab a bite.
The town is like a cold blooded creature that warms withe the sun. The town does not bustle with life well in to 9 am as the taxis are still waiting to fill up and make their first trip of the day to wherever. It feels like a timeless zone, where happen ate their own pace.
The people there are generally sociable and polite, as well as easy to talk to; quite accustomed to having and seeing strange persons, probably because of its trade route and crossing. There are cases though that you may get asked for a token towards any generosity offered for a service as simple as borrowing a pen.
Do not get offended, they are only being the capitalists they are, they also have mouths to feed and filling the gap for financial reward. This generally happens the closer you are to the crossing. At the immigrations outposts however, it is more often than not, act of kindness being extended is a business service you have to eventually pay for. This is the doing of some thrifty individuals making a living off your limitations by meeting you with custom solutions.
One of the ways I am able to appreciate a town’s worth is by looking at the footing of the banking industry’s services therein. Eco Bank, Barclays, KCB, namely some of Kenya’s banking giants with a strong presence in the town.
Further away from the crossing, the town is up and rising; like a giant coming out of deep slumber waking up to a new dawn.
photo courtesy of mkahawa.com Article written by Amailuk Joseph