In a momentous decision, the Botswana appeal court today overturned the high court ruling which denied the Bushmen access to their water. We hope the government will respect this, and allow them to reinstate the well on their territory.
This is a great victory for tribal peoples’ rights – and for Botswana, where many support the Bushmen – made possible by Survival’s supporters.
The Bushmen have asked us to pass on their heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to their struggle for water.
Celebrating after the decision, a Bushman spokesman said, ‘We are very happy that our rights have finally been recognized. We have been waiting a long time for this. Like any human beings, we need water to live. We also need our land. We pray that the government will now treat us with the respect we deserve.’
Of course, their problems are not over as the government has also given the go ahead to Gem Diamonds for a $3bn diamond mine at one of the Bushman communities.
But for now anyway, it is a time to celebrate a great step forward for Bushman rights.