Court denies Bushmen water rights

2010-07-22 09:26

Gaborone - A court in Botswana has ruled that indigenous dwellers in one of the driest parts of the world will not be allowed to drill wells for water.

The Botswana High Court on Wednesday said the Bushmen people were not entitled to use a well already established on their traditional land in the Kalahari Game Reserve or excavate a new one.

In 2006, another court allowed the Bushmen to return to desert-like homelands where diamond mining claims and a new luxury tourist lodge led to their eviction by the government.

Hundreds returned and their leaders protested that they were denied water to drive them away again.

Community spokesperson Jumanda Gakelebone questioned how the Bushmen could be expected to live without water.