Bushmen Denied Water Rights

The following was sent out on the Survival International mailing list (22 July 2010) and I am posting it here along with action links and links to the originating organization. The “Bushmen” are a traditionally gathering-and-hunting group from southern Africa who have been the subject of numerous anthropological studies, including Marjorie Shostak’s widely read Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (Harvard University Press, 1981).


Outrage as Botswana Bushmen denied water rights

A Botswana judge has ruled that Bushmen who returned to their lands
in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve are not allowed to drill wells for
water. The decision condemns them to having to walk up to 380 km to
fetch water in one of the driest places on earth.

Tourists to the reserve staying at Wilderness Safaris’ new lodge,
however, will enjoy use of a swimming pool and bar, while Gem Diamonds’
planned mine in the reserve can use all the water it needs – on
condition none is given to the Bushmen.

Bushman spokesman Jumanda Gakelebone said, ‘If we don’t have water, how are we expected to live?’

Please write to Botswana’s President Ian Khama at op.registry@gov.bw expressing your outrage. If the e-mail bounces, you can write a paper letter using our easy online tool.

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