A family in Kiminini, Trans Nzoa County, is in distress following the sudden death of their daughter in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Stella Nafula, who worked as a house help in the Arab country, met her death under unclear circumstances after falling sick just a month after landing the job.
The deceased flew to Middle in August 2021.
Speaking to Citizen TV on Saturday, Nafula’s family shared details of their last phone conversation with the 25-year-old who sounded distressed and in deep pain.
“Sioni kesho nikifika, nimekufa aki. Haina shida, nimeshukuru kwa yale mumenitendea,” she told her brother.
Loosely translated, “I don’t think I’ll live to see tomorrow. There is no problem. I am grateful for all you have done for me.”
The deceased’s mother, Mary Nafula, narrated that her daughter started complaining of ill health shortly after arriving in Saudi.
She accused Nafula’s employer of doing nothing to restore her health. Apparently, the employer failed to offer Nafula any medical help despite her constant pleas.
The mother, however, acknowledged that the employer had told the family about Nafula’s deteriorating condition.
In a passionate appeal to the government, the family urged authorities to help them ferry their kin home, noting that efforts to reach the deceased’s agent were unsuccessful.
They further urged the Ministry of Labour to come up with new regulations to protect the interests of desperate Kenyans seeking job opportunities abroad.
Similar cases have been reported in the past with families blaming ‘dodgy’ agents and abusive employers for the untimely deaths of their kins.
A report tabled in parliament in November last year indicated 89 Kenyans died in Saudi Arabia between 2019 and 2021.
The report by the National Assembly Committee on Labour and Social revealed the victims died in road accidents while others died of heart attacks among other illnesses.
“Due to the high temperatures most of them died from heart attacks,” said Mwea MP Wachira Kabinga, the committee chairman.
Earlier, Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui defended his ministry saying the State is working closely with the concerned stakeholders to make sure the welfare of Kenyans working abroad is prioritized.
“We want to fight for the rights of Kenyans who travel to work abroad, we are here not to blame each other but find solutions,” said Chelugui.