Greatwall Garden’s residents in Athi River, Machakos County, came to the aid of over 100 Pakistani nationals who were left stranded in the estate, as they sought cheaper hotels that would allow quarantine prior to flying out to Saudi Arabia.
The foreigners were reported to have been cheated into travelling to the estate, where they believed they would find affordable Airbnbs, after spending a fortune paying expensive bills at city hotels for nearly one month.
A video seen by Kenyans.co.ke showed the Pakistani’s roaming around the exclusive estate, seeking aid from the locals.
“The police are here. Apparently, they (Pakistanis) were told that this place (Greatwall Gardens) is a hotel. They have documents stamped written ‘Greatwall Hotel’. They are en route to Saudia but they don't even have food,” a resident stated in a community forum held to address the issue.
Some residents confirmed that they had hosted the Pakistanis, offered them food and bedding. It was highlighted that some foreigners only requested a room where they would rest as a city hotel was contracted to offer them meals.
“At times, I cook and feed a few who are not even under my care,” another resident explained.
Some made fun, joking that they should seize the opportunity to make some money. They argued that they were willing to host the Pakistanis at Ksh10,000 per person per night.
However, the debate was centred around how the community perceived the intrusion and whether the health and security of residents were at risk and whether the embattled foreigners were able to pay up the aforementioned amount of money.
The residents argued that providing them with some respite from outrageous expenditures and being humane should be prioritised ahead of profiteering.
One local lamented that having such an influx of foreigners under quarantine in a residential area was a major health concern, whether they had tested negative or positive to Covid-19.
“Kindly, for those hosting the foreigners, clarify on the same as it may be sad to enter into bad books with the community,” one local issued his grievances.
Prior to being relocated to Greatwall Estate, the 100 Pakistani nationals headed for Saudi Arabia were stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and various Nairobi hotels after arriving from Dubai.
Saudi Arabian authorities declined to allow them into the middle east country after it put Pakistani on its red list and enforced travel restrictions. Saudi, however, relaxed its travel restrictions but only allowed fully vaccinate expatriates to fly in.