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Kenyan varsity students stranded in Sudan appeal for help to return

Thursday July 02 2020
isiolo

Relatives of university students from Isiolo and Marsabit who are currently stranded in Khartoum, Sudan due to Covid-19 restrictions speak to journalists on July 1, 2020. They appealed to the two county governments and well-wishers to help evacuate the learners. PHOTO | WAWERU WAIRIMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WAWERU WAIRIMU

At least 26 Kenyan students from Isiolo and Marsabit counties are still stranded in Sudan following travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They have now appealed to leaders from north eastern and the respective county governments to assist in their evacuation back to the country.

The students have been studying at the International University of Africa.

They said they have run out of money and cannot afford the high cost of air tickets that ranges between Sh55,000 and Sh60,000.

The travel restrictions have also affected learning with a number of institutions resorting to virtual learning.

LIFE UNBEARABLE

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Mr Jimale Bashir, a fourth year media and public relations student, complained that traders have hiked prices of foodstuffs, adding that they are staying indoors to avoid contracting the disease and this has made life unbearable for them.

“We have also run out of the little money we had and affording a meal continues to be a big challenge. It is too costly staying here and that is why we are appealing to the government to repatriate us,” Mr Bashir told the Nation from Khartoum.

Parents and the university’s alumni from Isiolo on Thursday appealed to local leaders and the business community for assistance to evacuate the students.

They lamented that most of the students are from poor backgrounds and cannot sustain themselves during the current harsh economic times.

“They have been facing numerous challenges from last year and with the Covid-19 crisis, they need help to reunite with their families,” said Daud Tadicha, an alumnus of the university.

UNABLE TO OFFER SUPPORT

Ms Habiba Dido said with the biting effects of the pandemic, she is unable to support her son, Mohammed Dido, a fourth year student pursuing a pharmacy course. She appealed to the two county governments to facilitate travel back home for the learners.

“The two county governments should take a leading role in ensuring that the students get back home safely and within the shortest time possible because we cannot provide for them due to the harsh effects of the coronavirus,” said Ms Dido.

The county leaders, the parents said, should emulate their counterparts from the Coast region who, a few days ago, facilitated the evacuation of over 100 students who were also trapped in Sudan.

“The parents are unable to cater for their sons and daughters’ safe return and we also appeal to well-wishers for help,” said another alumnus and youth leader Yahya Hassan.

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