Darren wasted no time after joining our team at Dolphin Bay: within days, he had organised a seminar to introduce Dolphin Bay to the entire wood treatment market in Tanzania.
The seminar also provided a platform to highlight the challenges facing the wooden pole industry in Tanzania, and to describe the services Dolphin Bay offers to help tackle those challenges.
The meeting was held at the Neema Craft conference room in Iringa, Tanzania. All manufacturers of treated poles were invited, and those who came included Sao Hill, New Forests Company, Agora Wood Products and Poles Tanzania Ltd.
The challenges discussed included negative perceptions of wooden poles in Tanzania; the validity of national specifications; the damage the informal market is causing to the industry’s reputation; environmental challenges, such as how to dispose of empty CCA containers, and the rising threat of concrete poles to our industry.
Our guest speaker, engineer Florent Mtuka from the Tanzanian Telecommunications Company, the Tanzanian equivalent of Telkom, was a major drawcard. He provided a pole user’s perspective on the challenges in the industry, and future projections of pole usage.
“We took some important steps together at the meeting,” says Darren. “Everybody present acknowledged the challenges we face, and was extremely motivated to improve standards. They all also showed interest in a Dolphin Bay ‘Quality Pledge’ that we are introducing.
“They were also very excited to learn about our investment in a plastic chipping machine to address the problem of empty drums, and initiatives we are taking to tackle the informal market.”
These initiatives include working with the relevant government departments to improve control of the market.
The attendees were highly appreciative. “Word are not enough to express my appreciation for the information and support you have provided us with,” said Elisha Edson, CEO of Agora Wood Products. “The meeting was very important for me, and I didn’t regret cancelling my trip to Dar Es Salaam that day.
“Thank you very much to all who attended the seminar, and to Florent for his important presentations,” says Bertus. “The seminar was an extremely important step on our road to building a stronger industry, together, in East Africa.”