Mr Mtwana spends about Sh700 daily on water both for his family and a pre-school institute he runs in the neighbourhood. He says he believes that some unscrupulous business people in the town are responsible for the rampant water shortages.
“Why is it that after water shortages are reported some business people come in handy with huge tankers and begin selling water to the residents at inflated prices? Where do they get this water while the rest of us cannot get even a drop in our taps?” wonders Mtwana.
Voi business lament that their businesses are suffering heavy losses due to lack of water.
A businessman who runs a guest house with more than 400 rooms says he spends up to sh2,000 daily on water, and is concerned about other business premises in his neighbourhood which get water throughout.
“They always have running water even when there is rationing of the commodity, which leaves me wondering why we should have this case of double standards,” says he.
To circumvent the water shortage issue, some business people have installed huge underground tanks that store a lot of water leading to shortages in the neighboring premises.
The managing director of Taita-Taveta Water and Sewerage Company (Tavevo) Peter Shwashwa said they had launched a crackdown on all business premises with illegal connections to the mains water supply.
“The law stipulates that a domestic water supply pipe should not be bigger than half an inch and those with illegal connections bigger than this will have their supplies disconnected and action taken against them,” says Mr Shwashwa.
Shwashwa admitted that Voi town was facing the worst water shortages in the county and blamed outdated infrastructure for the situation.
“Voi town and other sections of Coast are served by a 32-inch pipeline which was put up in 1952. They are getting serious water shortages because of the fast growing populations which has not been matched with an equal increase in water supply. The Mzima pipeline is now very old and frequent leaks and bursts are occurring which lead to water shortages,” says Shwashwa.