Water donation to help rescued animals

Delighted Darg employees, from left, Kenny Matshaya, Jeremy Braaf, Linda Mfelane, Gladys Mabunazana and Isaac Michael, are grateful for the donation of more than 5 000 litres of spring water. Story on page 3

A donation of more than 5 000 litres of spring water will keep animals hydrated at the Domestic Animal Rescue Group (DARG) during the drought.

Shaun Cairns, chief executive of Cape Point-based Living Water spring water and bottling plant, agreed to donate more than 1000 5-litre bottles to the organisation last week.

This came after one of his clients, Shane Marks, of software company RenderHeads, which had procured water from Living Water for staff members as Day Zero loomed, asked if Mr Cairns could rather donate the water to charity.

“When Day Zero was no longer going to happen, Shane suggested we donate the water to Darg. We supplied his team with a 1000 litres of water, but we were willing to increase the volume to 5 000 litres for the donation to Darg,” Mr Cairns said.

“During the drought we’ve obviously wanted to care for our children and pensioners, but many of us also forget about the animals. For us we wanted to do a social responsibility project that was meaningful.”

Mr Cairns, who founded Living Water with wife Stacy 18 months ago, is not stranger to Darg, having bought an animal there a few years ago.

“I am a farmer as well, so I am aware how much animals suffer during dry periods. So it’s nice to be able to help Darg’s animals in this way.” He said he would be proposing a new initiative whereby Living Water would collect the empty 5 litre bottles from Darg and refill them at a fraction of the normal cost.

Mr Marks said his business had bought enough water to cover the months of March, April and May, so that if Day Zero occurred his staff would have enough to drink.

“When Day Zero was pushed out, as a business we couldn’t renege on our agreement so we thought it would make sense to donate the water to charity. My partner used to volunteer at Darg, so we thought it would be a good idea to donate it there.”

Darg managing director Faustina Gardner said the organisation was “incredibly grateful for the huge donation”.

“Looking at all of our animals that rely on us can sometimes feel quite daunting, with what lies ahead as far as the water restrictions are concerned. Gestures such as this give us hope that we will be able to continue with providing water for all the animals at our facility.

“We are a small but passionate team who now more than ever are relying on support nationwide, and I wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Living Water and to Shaun who made the donation possible,” she said.