The Bushmen

This is the serious page!

Sorry!

That being said I will now explain.

In 2006 the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari took the Botswana Government to Court for evicting them from their ancestral lands. They won.

Good news! Well actually no. Since then the Botswana Government have made it increasingly difficult for the Bushmen to return and carry on living as they wish to do and have a right to do. They have stopped them using a borehole for water.

Recently the Botswana Government awarded concessions to tourist companies to allow them to build lodges in the Reserve – and to extract water for their use. These lodges will extract thousands of gallons of water – tourists being famous for wanting showers etc – whilst the meager requirements of the people whose land it is have been ignored.  The companies have been banned from giving water to the Bushmen.

Diamond mining is also due to start.  Again they will extract water but – again – they are not allowed to give water to the Bushmen.

Their way of life is in peril.  Their unique knowledge of the land and plants could vanish.  I am at a  loss to understand why they are being treated this way.  Botswana is a rich and wonderful country.  It has some of the most stunning landscapes on the planet.  It is a large country.  There is space enough for the bushmen and their way of life.  Why should the Government want to stop humans from progressing at their own pace into the 21st century.  They must be allowed  to choose how they live in the space they were granted.  To have a freedom which we take for granted.

Anyone who has travelled to the area – as we have done – knows the ghastly conditions the bushmen are living in. They have been dumped in areas outside the Reserve and banned from hunting for food. They are miles from any area of employment and so cannot survive.

The settlement of New Xade which we visited was one of the most depressing places I have ever been to.

More information is available from Survival International

Please – Spare some time to visit the site.

Tansy

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