Close to 10 000 former liberation war fighters have so far benefited from the N$1.9 billion availed by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs (MoVA) since 2008 to bankroll the Individual Veterans Projects (IVPs) meant to give former fighters an opportunity to have income generating projects for their economic sustenance.
Spokesperson of the Veterans Ministry Edson Haufiku told The Villager out of the 9 860 IVPs recorded, 4 016 are projects set aside for female veterans while 5844 are for male veterans.
Haufiku also explained that the number of veterans have been increasing rapidly since the registration of veterans started. “Since the IVP’s program was gazette and registrations stared in 2008 the number of veterans that registered with the ministry has since just been increasing,” Haufiku said.
Statistics also show that 29 359 people have been accorded veterans status since registration commenced in 2008. Of these number 13 423 are women while 15 936 are men.
“Registration of veterans and dependents of veterans enables government to know the number of veterans in the country, where they live and their living conditions,” Haufiku said.
He added, that the Veterans Act no. 2 of 2008 makes provision for the applicant to fill out the prescribed form for veteran status, which is then referred to the Veterans Board, which amongst others is to determine applications for registration as veteran or dependent of a living or deceased veteran.
As mandated, Veterans Affairs (VA) is to address the plight of veterans of the national liberation struggle and to ensure that their needs and aspirations are met, in order to integrate them in to the socio-economic mainstream of the Namibian economy.
The Veterans Board (VB), based on the information provided by the applicants, approves or disapproves such applications.
Some veterans who have ventured into logistics, transportation, construction and farming can change their projects once the funding has been approved.
Veterans who are registered from 1958 to 1986 are entitled to a sum of N$50 000 in cash and veterans that registered as veterans from 1986 to 1989 when the liberation struggle ended are entitled to N$ 20 00 in cash.
The monitoring of business projects is done by regional offices that are all over the country. Any veteran can come up of with a project that can be funded from the amount of N$1 000 to N$200 000.
More than ten veterans can also team up and do one project. If veterans team up the amount for the funds for the project will increase as the funds are provided on each veterans head as long as the veterans come up with a viable project.
The ministry has also made provision of housing, land for resettlement, education and training grants as well as medical assistance amongst some of the benefits for veterans.
In a memorandum of understanding signed by the National Planning Commission and the Council of Churches in Namibia six years ago, the ministry conducted a pilot study in the Khomas Region that was aimed at identifying spiritual and psychosocial problems faced by veterans.
In this study the ministry discovered social challenges for veterans suffering from nightmares, emotional, spiritual and psychological and other post-traumatic stress disorders.