Lafarge Holcim Cement Company on Tuesday presented a K1.5 million donation in form of 200 bags of cement to the Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (SPCA) towards the construction of a veterinary laboratory at its new centre near Wenela bus station in Blantyre.
LafargeHolcim also handed over prizes to two grand winners of a promotion it run between September and November 2015 for home builders. The two winners, 60-year-old Karim Bakari of Blantyre and 29 year-old Lea Kumwenda of Madisi in Dowa, each won 14,000 soil stabilised bricks and 412 bags of cement worth K7.5 million each.
Speaking during the handover ceremony for the donation to SPCA, LafargeHolcim Malawi managing director, Ilse Boshoff, said the company’s core value is caring for its community and that the support to SPCA was aimed at protecting the Malawian public from rabies and other animal related diseases common in Malawi.
“A dog is man’s best friend but it can also if not taken care of. We want to support efforts to make the slogan of a dog being man’s best friend true,” said Boshoff.
On her part, SPCA’s director, May Valentine, said rabies is one of the common diseases treated in hospitals in Blantyre and her organisation wants to help local authorities eradicate the disease through veterinary care and civic education on how to take care of dogs.
“Rabies is dangerous and once one starts to show symptoms, it’s incurable,” she said.
On the cement buying promotion, Boshoff said Lafarge is a company that “built” Malawi and that the promotion was aimed at giving back to the community to allow some of its lucky customers build houses for their families.
“The cement and bricks won will enable the winners build at least a three-bedroomed house for their families and we feel good about the aspect of family in this promotion because a house means a lot for a family,” said Boshoff.
Bakari, a sales manager at Speedys in Blantyre who has a wife and four children, said he will use the bricks and cement to build an eighth house for his family, saying he has always used Lafarge cement in the construction of his other seven houses.
“Even the fence for my houses is built with blocks made of Lafarge cement which has proven to be strong and durable,” said Bakari.
On her part, Kumwenda – married and a mother of two, said she will build a second house for her family after completing construction of their first house for which she was buying cement that led to the winning of the prize.
“I’m happy to be one of the winners,” said Kumwenda, who – alongside her husband, runs a grocery shop at Madisi Trading Centre.