Iraq demands Ksh800,000 to repatriate body of Kenyan worker who died in December

Lucy Wambui
Lucy Wambui. [Photo: Courtesy]

The family of Lucy Wambui, who died in Iraq, is desperate.

They are required to raise Ksh757,374 for her body to be repatriated back home. So far, they have raised Ksh400,000.

Lucy leaves behind four children in the care of her parents.

The Kenyan working in Iraq died in December 2020. According to a report by a coroner from the Middle East country, she suffered a bout of pneumonia, reports the Star.

Iraqi authorities have warned that her body will be disposed of in the Middle East if it is not repatriated home soon.

But the cost of repatriation is the biggest hurdle. The cost includes coffin specialized for international transport, health rules and infections, zinc and sawdust, washing, and shrouding.

Others are scented materials, all government fees in Baghdad, customs clearance, transportation to the airport, cargo from Baghdad to Kenya, wages of preparing the coffin, finalizing the document, and labor wages from Iraq to Kenya.

The deceased’s brother Harun says her sister traveled to Iraq in 2019 through an agent.

He received a letter on June 9 from the Embassy of Iraq, asking the family to send approximately Sh800,000 to cater for transportation of Lucy’s body.
“The Iraqi Embassy informed that to facilitate quick repatriation of the remains of the late Ms Lucy Wambui Ng’ang’a, the deceased family would be required to pay USD 7,000 (Sh757.374),” the letter reads.

The family must send the money via an account number to Iraq for the body to be transported back to Kenya.

They say they have tried to seek help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to no avail.

Lucy, who died aged 36, has had several employers in Iraq, making it difficult to document everything about her employment record.

They say she was fine when they last talked to her.

Their appeal to the Kenyan government is to rein in on the National Employment Authority (NEA) sending Kenyans to the Middle East for work.