Nepali workers in Kuwait: “We don’t want to die in a foreign land”

Sabina Karki

May 18, 2020


Nepali workers in Kuwait: “We don’t want to die in a foreign land”

Nepali migrant workers cramped inside a facility hall in Kuwait.


KATHMANDU: As many as 200 Nepalis are languishing in Adan-based camp in Kuwait awaiting their repatriation in a cramped facility as the country struggles to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Nepali migrant workers have been stranded in the camp of a two-story school building for around a month in appalling conditions with no signs of reprieve.

“It’s been almost one month that we have been stranded here in such an appalling condition. We are prevented from going outside,” said Amar Bahadur Sen, a Nepali in the camp, told Khabarhub.

More appalling is that they have started to fall sick as more than 150 people have been cramped inside a hall.

“Imagine our situation,” he moaned.

Predominantly from the districts of Rautahat, Udaypur, Rolpa, Panchthar, these migrant workers are unable to maintain social distance under the heat, and that, too, in the unsanitary facility as they dear the spread of the novel coronavirus inside the facility.

If the data of the Foreign Employment Board is to be believed, Kuwait currently has over 50 thousand Nepali workers.

“It’s been months that we have left the jobs. We are hapless,” Sen said urging the Government of Nepal to repatriate them at the earliest. “We want to go back home, be together with our families.”

The pace of evacuation has been a sour issue for the Nepali workers, with a group of them releasing a video calling on the Government of Nepal to repatriate them from Kuwait.

Kuwait, which is locked down in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, has said it would allow the re-entry of the undocumented workers if they volunteered for repatriation.

The video shows several Nepali workers complaining about their pathetic living conditions and lack of proper food, sanitation and hygiene.

According to Sen, the Nepali Embassy in Kuwait had on April 24 sought application from the migrant workers for one-way travel.

“It’s been nearly a month that we filled up the form with the hope of returning to our country,” he said, expressing frustration that they embassy’s assurance has been a distant dream now as it has gone beyond the contact.

Complains Ful Kumar Raut of Panchthar, “The government of Nepal is not serious to evacuate us. We call the embassy only to get fake assurances and ‘stay safe’ messages.”

The government, however, seems to hesitate to bring them back from Kuwait and other countries due to the fears of coronavirus infections.

“We are kept like sardines in a hot and jam-packed room and too in unsanitary facilities,” Raut complained asking further, “How could we spent days like this?”

They fear the spread of coronavirus inside the room.

“We simply want to return to our country,” they say unanimously, adding, “We have no other demands.”

They have demanded the government of Nepal to allow aircraft from Kuwait to land at the Tribhuvan International Airport. “We have tickets, the only thing we need is Nepal’s permission.”

These migrant workers finally have a message to the Nepal government: “We do not want to die in a foreign land. Please rescue us.”