Cash-strapped Kenyans stuck in China turn to online fund campaign to raise airfare

Some Africans sleeping in the streets in China after a wave of xenophobia attacks. [Photo Nation]

Eight people who are among a dozen Kenyans stuck in China have turned to an online fund campaign to able them raise airfare.

This follows an evacuation directive by the government which stipulates, among other things, any Kenyan national stuck in China and wishes to return to Kenya will have to foot their airfare.

The same directive has been issued to Kenyans in the United Kingdom and a dozen others in India.

The eight Kenyans have dubbed the campaign Tuma Fare Initiative. Hitherto, it is not clear how much the platform has raised although unconfirmed reports indicate the platform has only raised Sh6,000.

Some have relaxed their bid to return to Kenya because they have no money to pay for their flight tickets and 14-day quarantine upon landing in Kenya.

One of those affected is Bernard Mwangi who had moved to China in the hope of taking his business to the next level.

He was kicked out of his apartment and sought refuge at a bus stop where a Nigerian national living in China found him and offered him accommodation.

“I want to come home. I have signed up to be evacuated, but I cannot afford the plane ticket,” he told the Nation.

“If the government still insists that those who wish to be evacuated do so at their own cost, I’ve no option but to stay here,” he added.

With the plight befalling these Kenyan nationals in China, President Uhuru has been asked by Kenyans in China Organisation (Kico), a lobby group, to step in and offer a solid solution.

“..A few millions to exempt these hardworking Kenyans who have helped the economy by remitting funds from overseas won’t hurt,” said a Kico official.

Kico said life for Kenyans living in China is now unbearable as they are required to quarantine for 14 days before leaving the country and also go for mandatory 14-day quarantine upon landing in Kenya which is financially strenuous.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Kenyan Embassies abroad has offered to evacuate her people although the biggest burden lies with them of footing transport and quarantine.