KDF evacuates 27 Kenyans stranded in Ethiopia over Covid-19 pandemic

Two Kenya Air Force C27J Spartan aircraft airlifted 27 Kenyans from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Nairobi after being stranded there for three months because of Covid-19 restrictions on travel.

The Kenyans were flown to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on June 19. They said they could not leave Addis Ababa because of travel restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the disease.

Silas Oulo who was teaching in Ethiopia said he had been there since January and was teaching from home and rendered jobless when schools closed.

“When we saw the KDF flight arrive we were delighted. I am delighted to be back home,” said Oulo.

Dozens of Kenyans are stuck in various places because of the pandemic. Plans are underway to fly them back to the country.

For instance, Kenya Airways has agreed to fly back 120 Kenyan students, mainly, from the Coast stranded in Sudan's universities at a discounted price.

They will be flown for Sh51,940 each instead of Sh56,604 following successful negotiations between Mvita MP Mr Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir who is financing the evacuation and the national carrier.

The students are stranded in Sudan's capital, Khartoum after international flights were banned into and out of Kenya and Sudan in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak in March.

In a letter to Kenya Airways Managing Director, Mr Allan Kilavuka, Nassir thanked the management for being considerate and agreeing to reduce the airfare from USD 534 per person to USD 490 to allow the students come home.

The plight of the Kenyan students went viral after a video clip was circulated widely showing the students lamenting their frustrations after all learning institutions were shut following widespread Covid-19 pandemic.

'' We are fighting hard to stay safe and alive as we seek to contain Covid-19. What might kill is us depression as we are far away from home and fear for our wellbeing in a foreign nation with nothing to do here since classes are no more,'' one of the students is heard saying.

Another group of Kenyans stuck in India is set to leave on Tuesday.