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Barlow in solidarity with Basarwa against fracking

The Sunday Standard reports, “Botswana has drawn the attention of international human rights organizations and the United Nations, after it was recently classified, together with other war torn states in Africa and the Middle East, as one of the few countries that use water as a weapon of war.”

“Former United Nations advisor on water, Maude Barlow, recently condemned the Government of Botswana for failing to protect Basarwa living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve against international companies that are practicing fracking in their ancestral land.”

The San people (or Saan), also known as the Kalahari Bushmen or Basarwa, are members of various Indigenous hunter-gatherer peoples of Southern Africa whose territory spans Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“Barlow was commenting on reports that the United Nations is trying to help resolve the controversy surrounding the use of water as a weapon of war in ongoing conflicts. Botswana was the only country in Southern Africa cited among countries that use water as a weapon in ongoing conflicts. …Barlow said water is being increasingly and deliberately used a weapon of war in recent and ongoing conflicts. She also raised alarm about on-going large scale fracking in Botswana.”

Barlow says, “While it has been a victory for Basarwa to win their court case [on the right to water], I fear they face a new threat, the threat of shale gas fracking. Large scale fracking exploration is now taking place in the Kalahari and it puts the precious water supplies there in grave danger. Once again, the indigenous dwellers of the desert pay the price for modern consumerism. …We stand in solidarity with Basarwa and their human right to live in their ancestral lands. They also have a right to water for life – just like all of us around the world.”

Survival International, along with the Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project, and Food and Water Watch are watching the situation closely. 

Further reading
Fracking threatens right to water for Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana