Disasters & Accidents

Domestic workers trapped by Beirut blast want to go home

By Isaac J. Martín

Beirut, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- Magret camps alongside other Kenyans in front of their consulate in Beirut seeking a way out after losing her job when the port explosion destroyed the home where she worked.

“They did not pay me for almost nine months (…) I packed my stuff,” she says.

She adds that she arrived at the Kenyan consulate in Beirut’s Badaro neighborhood on Monday and had to spend the night because she has no other place to go.

“They did not want to pay my salary and they just left,” the 25-year-old tells Efe.

Around 20 Kenyan women protested outside the building on Monday night against the closure of the consulate as they have not received any answer from the Kenyan authorities to their request to return to their country.

On 4 August, Beirut experienced one of the worst events of its history when nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded at a warehouse in the city’s port.

It generated a blast wave that destroyed buildings and left nearly 300,000 homeless, including the domestic workers, according to local authorities.

Catherine, 31, is one of those who has been affected.

Homeless and jobless, she said the consulate asked her for $500 to purchase flight tickets.

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