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The Botswana government has awarded the ‘Safari & Adventure Company’ a tender to build a tourist lodge near the Bushman community of Molapo in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
The lodge will need to sink boreholes to pump huge amounts of water from the Kalahari – but the Bushmen are not allowed to take water from their single borehole. The Bushmen evicted by the government in 2002 won the legal right to return to their land in 2006, but the government is making this impossible by preventing them from using their borehole and refusing to issue hunting permits.
International law dictates that there should be no development on tribal peoples’ land without their free, prior and informed consent. The Bushmen have not been consulted about the building of a tourist lodge on their land.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The government has the gall to tell the Bushmen to make the 400km round trip to collect water from outside the reserve when tourists will be showering and sipping their drinks nearby. It’s against the most basic human rights and is, of course, illegal – in other words, pretty normal stuff for the Botswana government where the Bushmen are concerned. Many tourists will stay away when they know the background.’
The Safari & Adventure Company is based in South Africa and also operates in Namibia and Zambia.
For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]