September 11, 2011

San finally allowed to use borehole

To hear an organization that champions indigenous peoples' rights tell the story, the San of Botswana were exhilarated. They had their borehole back. They also went hi-tech. "Survival International has been speaking to the San from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as they celebrate drinking water from the Mothomelo borehole for the first time in nine years," the organization said, referring to itself in third person. The San, stopped using the borehole when the government chased them from the reserve and capped the well in 2002. Charges were the government was protecting the De Beers Consolidated Mines' interests.

The San won the right to return five years ago but it wasn't until early this year that the Supreme Court ruled they can use the borehole as well. It has been re-drilled and fitted with a solar-powered pump. The San weren't the only losers in the saga. Embarrassed, De Beers sold its rights. The new company plans to handover three other boreholes to the San. (Daily Nation)

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