The Chief Administrative Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ababu Namwamba, urged Busia County, together with officials from the national administration of the government, to develop an immigrant labor policy to be used by locals seeking employment. jobs in foreign countries.
Speaking in an advisory forum with the team in the county commissioner’s meeting room on Monday, Namwamba noted that the county had no existing guidelines.
“Make sure the recruitment agencies are registered here in Busia so that you can easily track down those who have moved to foreign countries,” he said, adding that Kenya has an existing bilateral agreement with Arabia. Arabia but realized that was not enough.
He added that the government has already started the process and signed seven bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, among others to fill any missing gaps in this process.
The CAS further stated that the government has identified a number of counties considered to be the main sources of young Kenyans who work in foreign countries as domestic workers.
“We have identified the counties in the coastal region, especially Mombasa, as a key source of young people working in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that more counties had been identified in the west and in Nyanza.
He pointed out that the West and Nyanza regions provide the bulk of domestic workers, adding that there have been reports of death and ill-treatment in the region.
“This is why we are in Busia and tomorrow we will move to Kisumu,” he said, adding that labor migration is now a reality.
Ababu revealed that Kenya has at least 200,000 domestic workers in paid employment in different parts of the Gulf region and over one million across the world.
“So there is a need to make sure that we have the means to protect them,” he said, noting that around 78 Kenyans have died in Saudi Arabia in the past two years.
He advised the county government to take advantage of recently announced job vacancies for nurses in the UK.
Busia County Civil Service and Administration Director General John Mwami said recruiting agencies should be registered with county labor departments and form associations to make it easier to find workers.
Mwami noted that a number of local residents have sought domestic work in Nairobi only to be recruited from foreign countries.
The head of the governor’s office, Ezekiel Okwach, said there was a need to educate the local population about the negative consequences of domestic migrant labor.
Busia County Deputy Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto says a policy of helping the poor is needed, and lack of jobs is pushing a number of desperate locals to venture into foreign countries despite the risks reported.
The move comes after desperate Kenyans asked for help via social media, citing mistreatment in Saudi Arabia where they had gone to seek greener pastures.
By Salomé Alwanda