Lafarge pledges ongoing support for baby rhino project

19.08.2013
 

Further to last year's donation of R100 000, Lafarge South Africa has pledged ongoing support for the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage created at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in Limpopo Province.

The centre is caring for baby rhinos that have been injured and are parentless as a result of South Africa's devastating poaching epidemic.

Lafarge, the world leader in cement, has for many years also been an industry leader in sustainable development. In 2000, Lafarge was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide ‘Conservation Partnership' with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International. In addition to its policy of actively supporting the development of communities around its operating sites, the Group has a wide ranging sustainability programme that involves projects in 64 countries around the world to reduce the environmental footprint of the company's manufacturing processes and products, as well as biodiversity conservation programmes at its quarries.

"As a caring company, we cannot stand by and do nothing as years of successful conservation in South Africa are systematically and brutally destroyed." says Lafarge's National Sales & Marketing Manager - Cement, Maria Sazeides. "In 2007 there were 13 rhinos lost to poaching. Between 2010 and 2012, the number has escalated dramatically to a staggering 1454 and, in January this year, there have already been more than 32 losses. We admire the commitment of the Centre's Director Arrie van Deventer and his team, in building this orphanage to mitigate the impact of poaching on the rhino population."

Guiding the team and working with them is the internationally renowned rhino rearing and rehabilitation expert Karen Trendler of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) Rhino Response Project. "While we hope that poaching will be brought under control, hope was not enough. There was a need for decisive action," comments Karen. "A third of the rhinos that are being slaughtered are either pregnant cows or mothers with calves. We felt that providing a specialised care centre to heal and nurture the orphans would be an effective intervention. Thanks to generous donations from Lafarge and other organisations, we are putting together the basics required for a suitable facility. This ranges from shelters and expensive security fencing, to simple basics such as tables, chairs and shelving, to the high running cost necessities such as medicines and vast volumes of milk."

 

 

 

 


These marvellous animals need nursing and love as youngsters to the extent that Karen often becomes a surrogate mum. However, their eventual rehabilitation will rely on effective security and minimum exposure to humans. One of the centre's first orphans, Ntombi, was rescued by the swift response of the EWT Rhino Response network. She had suffered terrible injuries at the hands of poachers, and Karen is delighted to report that Ntombi is responding well to the care and attention of the orphanage team.
"South Africa is home to over ninety per cent of the planet's population of rhinos," adds Maria Sazeides. "Lafarge is proud to be playing a meaningful role in helping to preserve our unique heritage."

ENDS

About Lafarge
Located in 64 countries with 65 000 employees, Lafarge is the world-leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. In 2012, the Group posted sales of 15,8 billion Euros.
Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity to help build better cities around the world: more beautiful cities that are better connected, have more housing, and are more compact and durable. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province. The Group has for many years been a leader in sustainable development and was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide ‘Conservation Partnership' with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za

For further information, please contact:

Charlene Lamb
Country Communications Manager
Lafarge South Africa
011-657-1265
Charlene.lamb@lafarge-za.lafarge.com

Issued by:
Bridget von Holdt
Inzalo Communication
Tel: 011 646-9992 / 082 610-0650
bridget@inzalo.com