Ireland ambassador to Kenya Vincent O’Neill excited the internet in Kenya on Monday after he rode an ox-drawn cart to officially open a school in Makueni County.
Photos of Mr O’Neill manoeuvring a muddy section of the road to St Patrick’s School in Kawese Village have gone viral on social media.
“Privileged to open wing of St Patrick’s Primary School Kawese Makueni County today following support from Irish organisation Kenya Child Foundation,” the envoy posted on his Twitter handle, sparking multiple reactions and shares. “Access to the school [was] difficult due to recent rains/muddy road no problem via ox cart.”
Scores have lauded the envoy, who is also the Ireland ambassador to Somalia and Sudan, as humble.
“Your humility is a blessing to Kambaland,” said Ms Mary Peter.
To others, however, the photos had exposed an embarrassing state of the roads in Makueni County, a situation authorities blame on the heavy rains that has been pounding the area.
According to Kenya Red Cross, Makueni is the fourth worst-hit county by the floods after Tana River, Garissa and Kitui counties.
Bridges, dams, houses, water systems and hundreds of kilometers of rural access roads have been destroyed.
Complete repairs of damaged infrastructure and restoration of people’s livelihoods is expected to cost at least Sh2 billion, according to Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.
Prof Kibwana has appealed for assistance from the national government, non-governmental organisations and well-wishers to mitigate the effects of the rains.
Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui visited some victims of flooding in the county on Friday and pledged the national government’s support in restoring livelihoods.