Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Bushmen People's Plight Continues

Socialist Banner blog has carried a number of stories about the plight of the Bushmen people.
Here is another

Wilderness Safaris offers guided walks “where guests gain life-changing insights into the unique culture of this fascinating people”. The Botswana government gave Wilderness Safaris permission to dig boreholes for water, which supply a pleasant swimming-pool. As holiday-makers sip their poolside gins and tonic, some might ask why the Bushmen, who are such a part of Botswana’s enduring attraction, should not be allowed even water to drink. But the government prevents the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve from digging for water. It wants to drive them out, and it is using thirst as a weapon. The Bushmen’s main borehole was concreted up by the Botswana army some years ago. In January 2011, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Bushmen could once more use the blocked-up borehole, and sink new ones. The judges described the Bushmen’s experience as “a harrowing story of human suffering and despair”. But the government stopped it happening. The Bushmen lawyer has been  barred from returning to Botswana.

Most of the Bushmen have now been moved out of the Reserve – often forcibly. They were transported to camps outside the game reserve: places like New Xade, awash with disease, prostitution and the cheapest and deadliest booze. Their character as a people is being relentlessly destroyed there. Those who are left are threatened, abused.

The basic problem is that the Bushmen traditional lands lie in the middle of the world’s richest diamond field.

 Survival International calls for a tourism boycott of Botswana. 

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