Bushmen in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve are celebrating being able to drink from their main well for the first time in nearly a decade. The Mothomelo borehole had been capped by the government in 2002 in an effort to move the Busmen off the Reserve, which is part of their ancestral lands. Despite winning Botswana’s longest running court case over four years ago, the Bushmen’s fundamental right to water was only recognized this January by Botswana’s appeal court.
“The case was significant in bringing the Bushmen’s story into the public eye, and changing attitudes within Botswana…and people are recognizing the rights that the Bushmen have to their ancestral land,” says Chloe Corbin, press officer for Survivor International.
Survivor International works to protect the rights of tribal peoples around the world.
“Water is a very key concern. Whilst the reopening of the Mothomelo borehole is significant, there is still a long way to go,” she told Vatican Radio. “There are other communities within the Kalahari Game Reserve who need access more locally to where they live. We are pushing for more boreholes to be opened and made safe for the Bushmen to drink from and wash from.”
Listen to full interview by Charles Collins with Chloe Corbin: