, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – The government says it has so far contacted families of 25 Kenyans out of 32 nationals in the ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines plane which crashed Sunday killing all 157 people on-board.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Monday, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the government is hosting the relatives so that it can provide them with “as much information as possible and also provide them with an environment of privacy.”
“We shall continue making sure the welfare of the friends and families affected is given utmost attention.”
“As of now, out of the 32 passenger who are on board, the teams have managed to reach out and talk to 25 families, and so we have about seven to go. That is why we are requesting everybody to be sensitive; some of them have been very distressed and we would like to ask you to give it the utmost sensitivity… They are grieving and we ask you to give them as much space as possible,” he said.
The government Sunday set up a support centre at the JKIA after some of the relatives broke down complaining that they had not been briefed by the government on the fate of their kin.
This comes as the Kenyan Embassy in Addis Ababa set up an emergency and information help desk near the Bole International Airport for families and friends of victims of the ill-fated airlines.
Speaking on KTN News from Addis Ababa, Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia Catherine Mwangi said the desk has been set up for the relatives looking for information.
She assured families that have been affected that the Mission is well set up and ready to assist them in whichever way.
“We are going to set up this morning a desk inside the airport, specifically to receive Kenyan families that will be coming to Addis. We are at hand as a Mission to support and assist families in whichever way we can, to process any document or any government requirement. We have shut down every other activity at the Embassy, we are going to spend time dealing with families.”
At the same time, Transport Principal Secretary Esther Koimett who is leading a delegation to Ethiopia confirmed that the two nations had set up a committee with all stakeholders concerned to conduct forensic investigations and identify the victims.
“At this stage, we don’t have full information and because this was an Ethiopian Airline. Ethiopian Airline takes the lead….but we will work with them in supporting Kenyans families,” Koimett stated.