Saudi Arabia leads in number of Kenyans killed while working in Gulf countries

Stella Nafula, Pauline Wachira, Miriam Hannah Njeri

Kenyans who died while working in Saudi Arabia: Top row from left: Stella Nafula, Pauline Wachira, Miriam Hannah Njeri and Margaret Ruguru. Bottom row: Lucy Wanja, Lucy Mwanyae Kea, Beatrice Waruguru and Mercy Mbula.

Photo credit: Pool

At least 316 Kenyans have lost their lives in Gulf countries in the past 2 years, with most of the deaths recorded in Saudi Arabia, the government has said.

Appearing before the Senate, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said Saudi Arabia topped the list of recorded deaths with 166 Kenyans losing their lives there.

Mudavadi, who is also the CS for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs, said the data, which covers 2022 to date, also shows that 58 Kenyans have died in Qatar, 51 in the United Arab Emirates, 25 in Iraq, another 10 in Bahrain and six in Kuwait.

According to Mudavadi, only Oman and Iran have not recorded any Kenyan deaths during the period under review.

The CS said there are currently 416,548 Kenyans in the Gulf countries, but cautioned that the number could be higher because some Kenyans do not register with their missions abroad.

According to the data, there are 310,266 Kenyans in Saudi Arabia, 66,025 in Qatar, 23,000 in the UAE, 8,000 in Bahrain, 5,392 in Oman, 3,515 in Kuwait, 200 in Iran and 150 in Iraq.

“Kenyans in these territories exhibit high movement within various states. Numbers given therefore constitute periodic statistics derived from our missions from these countries and official sources from the host countries,” Mudavadi said.

The minister was responding to questions from Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale who wanted to know the number and identities of all Kenyans currently working in the Gulf countries and how many have lost their lives while working in the Gulf from 2022 to date.

The Senate Majority Whip also wanted Mudavadi to state what assistance the government is providing to the families of Kenyans who die abroad and what steps the government is taking to facilitate the repatriation of the body of Mildred Busolo Lisanza from Saudi Arabia to Malinya village in Kakamega County.