Our old friends at Itahwa were on top form during our visit. Seen here making one of their small garden forks, they are using their new letter stamps to add the group name to the finished fork. These are made from old lorry chassis, and are as tough as old boots. We are now buying regular batches for the Fair Trade Tools Project, and they are selling steadily.
The group currently has 13 members, including 2 women and 1 disabled man who works with leather. Their workshop is always a hive of activity. They were one of the ten groups initially chosen to make tools for our Fair Trade Tools Project. We ordered hand forks, adzes and side axes, and more recently they are making some lovely hand trowels. They are also making claw hammer heads for our Mwanza workshop as we are unable to provide enough of these from Wales. This is another benefit of the project: groups who improve their production techniques are given tool orders to boost their order books, and we buy these tools for distribution with tool kits from the workshop.
Here is a small selection of the tools made by Itahwa, showing their forks and trowels.
Itahwa group are still using their peddle grinder made by Tugeme Workshop – the design of this was a winner in a previous Mashinji Prize which we sponsored at the Annual Regional Exhibition in Bukoba. Itahwa are always looking for new products and new markets, so they are very happy to be part of our Fair Trade Project.