The increase in the number of deaths and cases of mistreatment of Kenyans in Saudi Arabia has prompted the government to consider suspending travel by Kenyans to to the country to be domestic workers.
In a report submitted to the National Assembly by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau, 89 Kenyans, majority of them domestic workers, have died in the past two years in Saudi.
According to what was reported by authorities, the cause of their death was cardiac arrest.
This shocked the lawmakers questioning how eighty nine people could have died of a specific disease.
“The Ministry of Labour and the National Employment Authority that should do autopsy reports, but they have reduced our ambassador to an undertaker and they want me to be mortician,” Macharia said.
He told the Labour and Social Welfare Committee at Parliament that since 2019 there had been an increase in cases of deaths and distress calls involving domestic workers, noting that the situation was getting out of control.
The committee heard that in 2019, three Kenyans, two of which were domestic workers, died in Saudi Arabia.
In 2020, 48 Kenyans died in the country and out of this number, 29 of them were house helps.
This year 28 domestic workers have died out of 41 deaths reported, with more than 1,900 distress calls by Kenyans in Saudi Arabia.
“These statistics indicate the reality that we face. It warrants bold decisive action to curb further suffering of Kenyan domestic workers in Saudi Arabia,” said Macharia.