Efforts on to repatriate workers stranded in Dubai park
Efforts on to repatriate workers stranded in Dubai park Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Efforts are on to repatriate a group of 25 men stranded in a Deira park after the coronavirus pandemic left them jobless and broke.

Dar Al Ber Society are providing two meals a day to the workers and last week three women arranged hot meals and perishable food items.

The group includes 12 Nigerians, five Ugandans, four Pakistanis and three Indians, an Iranian and a Kenyan.

Dr Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of the Zakat department at Dar Al Ber Society, said, “Providing food to the needy is the main focus of our humanitarian initiatives. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic we have reached out to thousands of people with food rations and we will continue to do that in the days ahead.”

Juhi Yasmeen Khan, CSR and charity initiative expert at Dar Al Ber also confirmed local authorities had been made aware of the plight of the workers and efforts are on to repatriate them.

For the past three months the men have been stranded in the park on Baniyas Road and with temperatures now hovering around the mid-forties and humidity reaching stifling highs of 60-70 per cent, their resolve is fast wavering.

“We are on the edge,” said 23-year-old Joseph Muchai Gichuhi from Kenya. “I don’t know how long we could last like this,” he rued.

Nigerian M.S. who worked for a car cleaning company in Sharjah said they use water from the park fountain to wash themselves and survive on alms. “It’s getting increasingly difficult with each passing day. We take turns to sleep on benches and use the bathroom at an adjoining car park,” he said.

Their situation follows the plight of scores of Ghanaians who were stranded in a Satwa park last week before Dubai Police helped them with temporary accommodation and food before their repatriation.

Of the Ghanaian case, a Dubai Police spokesperson said, ”In an effort to contain the virus, the UAE announced a lockdown that commenced in mid March 2020. These measures, that have also taken place globally, affected many travelers and individuals during these times.

"The Dubai Police has endeavored to assist and protect all individuals in the Emirate such as those 25 Ghanaian visitors that were unable to return to their home countries due to the closure of the airports in Ghana. The Dubai Police provided these individuals with shelter at the Hind Humanitarian City, food, clothes, and all other necessary requirements and services to ensure their wellbeing till they are able to return home. We will continuously work to ensure that all of the people in Dubai are safe and sound under any circumstance.”