Close to 10,000 Kenyans are stranded in Nairobi as they await flights to travel to Gulf countries to work.
Despite hundreds of citizens lamenting over the harsh working conditions in Saudi Arabia, migrant job seekers are not relenting in their quest to put food on the table.
According to the Association of Skilled Migrant Agencies of Kenya (ASMAK), three cohorts of trainees graduated from the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA).
The agencies which act as intermediaries have failed to secure discounted tickets for them to fly abroad.
“What this has done is create a backlog of about three cohorts of graduates whose visas have been processed and contracts signed but are yet to report to work,” ASMAK chair Francis Nduhiu stated according to Daily Nation.
Nduhiu revealed stranded job seekers were being harassed in hotels where agents had held them.
On the other hand, some Kenyans whose contracts ran out in Saudi Arabia are yet to return home due to lack of discounted flights that have not been in operation since August.
The ASMAK has sought intervention from the Ministry of Labour and Social Services.
“The flight challenge has resulted in long delays of the migrant workers especially domestic workers,” Nduhiu said in a letter.
Labour CS Simon Chelugui said the government was concerned about reports of Kenyan migrant workers being mistreated by their Saudi employers.
Chelugui said the Ministry of Labour was working with the Ministry of Foreign affairs to address some of the concerns raised by Kenyans working in the Gulf.
“We are now in the final stages. These are part of activities I intend to finalise when I visit Saudi Arabia, possibly within the next 30 days.”
The government official urged job seekers to take personal responsibility and ensure they have seen the employment contract before leaving Kenya.
He directed the 420 recruitment agencies to adhere to the licensing requirements by the vetting board.