Brick maker, Thomas Phiri

Thomas moulded bricks directly from mud. He wants to expanded his business by moulding cement blocks. Usually mud bricks are burnt to strengthen them and improve the quality. Burning bricks needs a lot of wood, but for moulding cement blocks Thomas does not need to cut trees. Cement blocks need more water to cure. With the deepend reliable water source and pump at his house, Thomas could expand his business and continuously mould cement blocks.
The video here under was taken at the start of the project, the one above is after project completion.

January 2018

Thomas found his first customer for cement blockes. He already invested in the equipment and is now producing cement blocks for a customer in his village.

First Cement blocks from Thomas Phiri

First Cement blocks from Thomas Phiri

November 2017

Thomas Phiri invested in a block making mould.

Cement block mould

Cement block mould

August 2017

Thomas his well was deepened by Hastings and Steven. In this well they could not use the Mzuzu drilling method because the soil structure at the bottom of the well was very rocky. Steven and Hastings had to climb inside with a hammer and chisel to deepen it.

After they installed the pump. The clean water was very welcomed by Thomas his wife and the neighbors.

Pump at Thomas Phiri's house

Pump at Thomas Phiri’s house



This is what Thomas needs

This is what Thomas needs. Can we help him?



Thomas is an industrious and innovative brick maker. He moulds bricks directly from mud and sells them to the communities nearby. People have been purchasing his bricks for building houses, toilets, shops and other shelter buildings. Realizing the potential to grow his business in the absence of competition, he attended Jacana’s basic business training for 2 days. During the training he exhibited perseverance and eagerness to learn.

At this moment Thomas wants to expand his brick moulding business by moulding cement blocks which after a thorough market survey he believes is on high demand. Some customers have already indicated their commitment to buy from him once he moulds cement blocks. Presently, Thomas is moulding mud bricks which involves cutting down of trees for him to burn the bricks in order to strengthen them as desired by customers. We all know what cutting down of trees can do to an environment.

When Thomas diversify into moulding cement blocks instead of mud bricks, he will stop cutting down trees and preserve the environment. However, Thomas is unable to expand and meet his customer demands without a reliable water source. Jacana believes that Thomas has a brilliant idea that is worth supporting, indeed a reliable water pump could help him expand and become self sufficient. Thomas is very committed to seeing himself expand into cement block moulding. He has already paid a 50 Euros towards the amount of money needed for his water pump.

Jacana believes Thomas has the potential to become a great entrepreneur. For this reason,he has been selected for a partly sponsored rope pump on an existing well. This pump will ensure continued water supply the whole year round. He will expand into cement block moulding and will stop cutting down trees because cement blocks do not need burning instead they need a lot of water. In order for Jacana to provide Thomas with the rope pump and have it installed at his premise we need your financial help. Every small amount is more than welcome.

Thomas in class

Simply fill in (above) any amount you can afford.Thank you on behalf of Thomas phiri!

Simply fill in the amount above.

Simply fill in the amount above.



Thomas Phiri is an experienced bricklayer and brick maker from Maulawo village. He has a wife and ten children and grandchildren.

Thomas with his family



Jacana will support Thomas Phiri in:

  • Providing a partly sponsored rope pump on a manually drilled borehole.
  • Guidance in book keeping and financial management.
  • Business guidance

I want to expand into making cement blocks


Builders cannot find a supplier of cement blocks

Builders cannot find a supplier that would provide transport.

Builders cannot find a supplier that would allow buying on credit.


Quality cement blocks are available

Trucks are available for delivery (T&C)

Credit and discounts apply to regular and trusted customers.


Quality cement blocks available on special prices.

Transport is provide(T&C)


Borehole and knowledge.




Builders who are already purchasing from me.


Getting more phone calls and orders. Increased sales and profit


Phone call, business card, face book link


I think that builders will like my cement blocks, that they cannot find such a service nearby and that are willing to buy at K 5 per block.


I will take few cement blocks and ask 20 builders    GO:  10 out of 20 builders are willing to buy these blocks then its a GO


Production and transport=K50


K 5 per block

Click here to learn how to read a Lean Canvas Business model.

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