Veterans reap fruit from hard work

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GIBEON – Veterans in the Hardap Region have displayed sheer will and industriousness, resulting in most of their government funded projects thriving.

Senior community liaison officer at the ministry’s regional office Albertus Hangue explained that most of the veterans take their projects very seriously and have been able to earn an income with which they support themselves and their families.

With 423 veterans in the region, 35 veterans received funds for their respective projects, funded to a maximum of N$200 000.

Hangue says he is happy with the projects as they are yielding good results, adding that only one project failed in the region so far.

“I just had one case where I called the veteran to see his project and he told me all the animals had run away,” Hangue said.

One of the beneficiaries is 77-year-old Anna Diba who opened a bakery, which supplies bread to the Gibeon community and the school hostel.

She said her bakery was closed for 10 years after fire destroyed it but she reopened it in 2013 with the help of the veteran grant. Currently she employs two people.

She says although business is good she faces transport problems to deliver her products.

Another female veteran is Elizabeth Swartbooi who has 12 dependants. She farms with goats, sheep and cattle just outside Gibeon.

Swartbooi says she started her project in 2012 after acquiring 80 goats, 40 sheep and a few cattle through the scheme for veterans.

Her animals have increased over the years as she now has 160 goats and 48 sheep and over the years has sold some at livestock auctions.

However, she says her livestock is constantly attacked by predators such as jackals and some are stolen by thieves.

“People come and steal whenever we leave our livestock to graze freely. Even if you report it to the police there is no evidence to arrest the suspects,” she said.

The ministry has built houses for nine veterans and another eight are in the pipeline this year in the area.

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