Botswana: Victory for Kalahari Bushmen as court grants right to water

Survival International reports an important victory for the Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana in their court case involving the right to water. On 27 January, 2011, Botswana’s Court of Appeal quashed a ruling that denied the Kalahari Bushmen access to water on their ancestral lands. With support from Survival, the Bushmen appealed a 2010 High Court judgment that prevented them from accessing a well which they rely on for water. The panel of five Appeal Court judges has found that: (a) the Bushmen have the right to use their old borehole, which the government had banned them from using; (b) the Bushmen have the right to sink new boreholes: (c) the government’s conduct towards the Bushmen amounted to ‘degrading treatment’. The full text of the final appellate judgement can be found at: