Bushmen denied water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 19 July 2010

Authorities in Botswana are preventing Kalahari Bushmen from bringing water to their relatives in one of the driest places on earth.

The move suggests the government is stepping up its long-running campaign to force the Bushmen out of their ancestral homeland and into government resettlement camps.

Wildlife scouts have told Bushmen attempting to bring water into the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) for their hard- pressed relatives that they cannot use donkeys to carry the water since these are no longer permitted.

Without access to vehicles, Bushmen wanting to support friends and families inside the reserve rely heavily on donkeys to transport water to them. Despite a High Court ruling that says the Bushmen have the right to live on their ancestral lands inside the reserve, the Botswana government has banned residents from accessing a borehole on their lands. In the dry season this makes them dependent on water from outside the reserve, which is extremely difficult to carry without donkeys.

Last month, the Bushmen went to court in a bid to gain access to their borehole. However, the Bushmen are still waiting for the judge to give his ruling; this is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, July 21.

Survival International’s director, Stephen Corry, says: ‘When they realise what’s going on, ethical tourists won’t want to go to areas where they have rights explicitly denied to the indigenous peoples. Botswana says it wants more tourists, yet its actions couldn’t be better designed to put them off.”

Source: Times Live

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