Complex process of repatriating Wendy Hellen’s body to Kenya and staggering amount of money needed

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 25 Aug, 2022 08:55 | 2 mins read
Hellen Wendy
Wendy Hellen Nyabuto. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The family of Hellen Wendy Nyabuto, who drowned in a swimming pool in Canada while live streaming on Facebook, has decided to repatriate her body to Kenya for burial.

Wendy died on August 18, 2022, in Collingwood, Ontario, after diving into the deep end of the swimming pool where she drowned after struggling to stay afloat.

Wendy’s father John Kiyondi Nyabuto said he would only find closure from his daughter’s tragic death when her body is repatriated back to Kenya for burial.

“According to our tradition, one is supposed to be buried where he or she was born. I’ll not feel comfortable, psychologically, if my daughter is buried away from Kenya,” the 56-year-old said.

Repatriating Wendy’s body will take a toll on her family’s resources. The brother of the deceased Enock Nyabuto started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help with her burial costs.

According to Enock, the total cost to fly Wendy's body is approximately Ksh6 million. The brother alongside Bruce Birundu created the gofundme fundraiser on Sunday, August 21, to raise the funds for the send-off.

As of Wednesday, August 24, at least Ksh6 million had been raised by donors, many of whom also shared condolences.

Repatriating Wendy's body to Kenya

Transporting a deceased from overseas is a very complex process as costs vary from country to country. Cultural attitudes and laws related to death vary across the globe, and the disposition of remains must be done in accordance with the country’s rules and customs.

When human remains are transported from Canada, the death certificate must be produced. The Kenyan High Commission in Canada is required to assist in making arrangements with local authorities.

The mortuary certificate, which includes the cause of death and other essential information, is required to ensure the shipment and Canadian customs clearance. There may be fees for embassy paperwork and documents.

Wendy's family will also need to use the services of a professional funeral company in Canada where the death occurred for the preparation of the body for international shipping.

The preparation of remains includes embalming - preserving the corpse from decaying. The remains may need to be sheltered in refrigerated storage, and there will be a cost for a casket or approved container for transportation.

There will also be an international ship-out fee. Airlines' international mortuary cargo fee is calculated according to the weight and the distance between the point of origin and the destination. Averagely the starting price ranges between $2,000 and $6,000 (Ksh238,443 and Ksh715,331).

Most airline carriers have a weight limit of 500 pounds/226 kilograms. If the deceased is heavier, there will be an additional cost.

Wendy's family will also need a receiving funeral service provider in Kenya as well once the body arrives in the country.

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