By Pascal Mwandambo
When Aloyce Lenjo retired as a hotelier and settled at Tanzania Estate in Voi, Taita–Taveta County about five years ago, he enjoyed a blissful life, for then, there was plenty of water. The sewage worked perfectly and water flowed in plenty.
Among his monthly bills was the water bill which Mr Lenjo, a shopkeeper, dutifully paid. But now, that state of affairs seems like a dream from another world. The water bill still comes, but there is no drop of water.
The water pipes have become rusty. Not one to easily give up, Lenjo regularly turns on the water taps, but a rude hissing sound meets him; not a drop of water.
To cope with this state of affairs, Lenjo’s household was forced to look for alternatives of collecting and storing water. In the process, they bought many jerricans whose presence in the home has taken room and left the house looking not so organised or beautiful.
“After much suffering we slowly began to adapt to the situation, however inconveniencing. So we purchased more than 20 jerricans for buying and storing water,” says Lenjo.
It is not easy to fill the jerricans. His family spends a lot of time searching for water, which eats into their time of doing other domestic chores.
“Every day we spend some Sh400 on water. The agony is that at the end of every month we have to pay hefty water bills for water we have not used. Something is wrong somewhere,” laments Lenjo.
The situation is the same at the neighbouring Kariokor, where residents are go through a lot of hardships in their search for water.
Residents wake up at 5am to begin looking for water which they ferry home on pick-ups, boda boda motorcycles, bicycles and pushcarts as well as on their heads and backs.
Kariokor resident and former civic leader Rashid Mtwana blames corruption for the water woes bedevilling the town and its environs.