March 15, 2007
Cheaper furniture and more gains

By Jackie Nalubwama

Down below the windy road from Nakapiripirit Town is Tokora, a place one can describe as a nascent trading centre. It is quite busy with Tokora Health Centre 4’s compound scattered with either patients or care-givers.

Matthew Lomoi , tool in hand, on the job at
Tokora Youth Carpentry and Joinery Project.

Matthew Lokut Lomoi is a Tokora resident who has gained quite a lot from Tokora Youth Carpentry and Joinery Project- a NUSAF sponsored Project. Owing to the fact that Tokora is quite busy, he has market for his panel products.

“Before this Project, people used to buy furniture from as far as Mbale, but now they buy from us,” said Lomoi. He went on to add, “We even have customers from as far as Nabilatuk, Namalu and Nakapiripirit [Town].”

To explain why his group of 11, will soon have a burgeoning money bag, Lomoi said, “From Mbale people can buy a stool at Shs. 4, 500 but here we will sell it at Shs. 5, 000 because we get timber from Sironko and Mbale. But transport to Mbale is Shs. 7-8,000, so they would rather buy from us.”

Lomoi has so far trained 5 other youth in carpentry, who they earn a living from the sale of their products. “We used to give the youth trainees Shs. 10, 000 per month and if they make furniture and it’s bought, we would give them half of the earnings.”

And on a personal note, Lomoi has been able to save and open an account with a rural savings financial institution. He also said, “I am now able to make a profit of Shs. 5000, which buys soap, salt and sugar for my home.”