Blessings are overwhelming, says Ricky Naidoo, Venk-Pac owner
LATOYA NEWMAN email@example.com
Q: When did you start supplying water to communities and what was your reasoning behind this?
A: I started this project while in hospital with Covid in January 2020. I heard there was a water issue in Chatsworth and started to send our truck from Verulam to Chatsworth each day after they completed our company deliveries.
Q: Which areas do you supply water to?
A: We supply from Hibberdene on the South Coast to oThongathi (Tongaat) on the North Coast. VenkPac has also installed 48 Jojo tanks in oThongathi during the flooding at a cost of R350 000.
Q: About how many litres of water has Venk-Pac dispensed to communities since then, and what is the approximate cost of this?
A: Venk-Pac has its own boreholes with filtration systems. Each of our trucks carries 8 000 to 12 000 litres and we make multiple trips per day per truck. On average we distribute between 120 000 and 150 000 litres a day, seven days a week. We have five vehicles that distribute water daily.
Q: How many trucks have gone out to communities over the past two weeks during the recent water problem, and how often do they go out in a day?
A: All five vehicles do multiple trips to reload per day working, until 11pm to 2am. We do this daily.
Q: What are the petrol costs incurred, for example, over this two-week period?
A: Our fuel cost, drivers and assistant wages and filtration systems run into a few hundred thousand per month – as you can imagine with the cost of fuel and truck maintenance.
Q: How many drivers and/or helpers are on duty to help distribute water?
A: We have six drivers and six assistants that distribute water.
Q: What do you appreciate about their efforts, because they distribute water at all hours?
A: It’s our drivers and assistants that really do the hard work. All VenkPac does is finance the cost of the distribution. So, all thanks must go to the Venk-Pac Water Assistance Team. They also have to put up with the frustration of the people who suffer without water for weeks and tend to take more than their share, which results in others waiting longer to enable us to refill and return. However, the thousands that bless us make it all worthwhile.
Q: What has the response been like from the public for all your efforts?
A: The blessings and the appreciation are overwhelming. Venk-Pac has now become a household name in eThekwini. We are known as the ‘Water Angels’.
Q: Some people do good deeds for a while and it ends, but you have continued to help the community. What has spurred you on to do this?
A: I feel that it was the blessings of the people we started giving water to that made me survive Covid. I also feel that our business has improved through these blessings and God is pushing me to continue providing life-giving, human rights-required water.
African News Agency