Born in the western province, Kamanzi Eraste is now a wealthy man with lands obtained from selling poles for the last three years. Kamanzi almost failed to pay back the bank loan that he had acquired and it was evident that the bank was about to take his land because of defaulting.
Kamazi is one of the many pole suppliers of NFC and has been doing this for the last four years since the company started its operations in Nyanza. Previously, Kamazi was dealing in timber and charcoal at a small scale which was not earning him enough.
So in 2013, he heard of NFC and that they were buying poles from those that could supply, so he changed strategy and joined pole suppliers “I approached the management here at the pole plant for business and after winning a tender to supply poles, I knew that the sky was the limit” Kamanzi told The Dispatch.
Kamanzi says that as pole suppliers, it’s a long process though now they have gained experience through the training offered to them by NFC.
“In order to avoid losses, before cutting and ferrying the poles to the pole plant, we send out scouts who identify the poles that fit the specifications of NFC and then we cut and load them on trucks and deliver them to Nyanza” Kamanzi explains.
According to him, they receive payment for the poles that fit the standards of NFC as soon as they are inspected and accepted by the company. He however sights challenges that they face as pole suppliers that are related to poor poles and the dry season where poles split before being delivered to the Pole plant.
“We used to make losses before we received training. Poles were rejected because they did not meet the required standards by the company and this was hurting because we already had paid for the pole. However, now it is rare for my poles to be rejected because I know what is required of me as a supplier” he adds Today, Kamanzi employs over 25 people.
Five are permanent while the other 20 who carry and load the poles are paid according to work done. He has managed to pay his debt of ten million from the bank and also paid off another car loan that he had got from a friend plus finishing to build his house and bought hectares of land through selling poles to NFC.