3rd March 2024
Make a Donation

Clearance official insists ‘toxic’ maize wasn’t returned to Uganda

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Trucks at the Nimule Customs yard | Credit | Deng Daniel

The Secretary-General of South Sudan Clearance Agents Association in Nimule town denied reports that the impounded 63 trucks of contaminated maize have been released back to Uganda.

Silas Majok clarified that the only trucks that are allowed to return to Kampala, are those that reject food safety examination by the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards.

Uganda’s Foreign Minister, Henry Okello Oryem said last Friday the country’s embassy in Juba engaged with the South Sudan government, and that all lorries were released to Uganda on Wednesday, June 14.

Okello claimed that the Ugandan trucks were forced to return with the maize and their consignment under unclear reasons.

But according to the South Sudan Bureau of Standard, the maize consignment tested positive for above normal level of aflatoxin – a substance linked to health risks.

When contacted by Eye Radio on whether the consignments are still in Nimule or returned to Uganda, Majok said they are still detained in the South Sudan border town.

“That statement is not true, the trucks that have been detained due to high levels of aflatoxin are not allowed to return to their country like Uganda,” he told on Monday.

Majok reiterated his adherence to the resolution to bury the goods in accordance with certain health protocol of the National Bureau of Standards.

“This is what is taking place, the total of 63 trucks will be dumped. The standard (SSNBS) cannot return such goods because they are too dangerous, so standard have not to return any of these goods that have been found that have higher aflatoxin.”

“There were only few trucks that refused to undergo a process (examination) and they have returned to the country of origin.”

“So, they are those trucks that have been detained. There is nothing, we are just expecting a committee to arrive from Juba to meet with the committee that is in Nimule and to start the process of dumping the 63 trucks.”

The Chief Executive Director of South Sudan’s Bureau of Standards was not reachable for comment on the situation.

In February 2023, Ugandan food scientists found that maize, sorghum, and groundnuts produced locally pose a cancer risk.

The research by scientists at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro) indicates that Ugandan grain contains 10 times or higher concentrations of aflatoxin than the safety threshold recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Kenya has also imposed a ban on maize imports from Uganda over the same issue.

 

 

Support Eye Radio, the first independent radio broadcaster of news, information & entertainment in South Sudan.

Make a monthly or a one off contribution.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!