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NEWS: Bushmen drink from borehole for first time in nine years

The Associated Press reports, “Survival International says Botswana’s Bushmen are drinking water from a borehole in the Kalahari desert for the first time in nine years.”

In 2002, “the government capped the well at Mothomelo to help force the tribe out of an area rich in diamonds.”

“In 2006, a court ruled the eviction illegal.”

But in 2010, the High Court denied their right to access a well in the reserve. That ruling came a week before the United Nations formally recognized water as a human right.

In January 2011, “(the Court of Appeal) ruled that the Bushmen have a fundamental right to water.”

At the time of that ruling, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow said, “This is a major win, it’s the first test case of our right to water resolution at the United Nations.”

In fact, the ruling quoted a report by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the UN’s recognition of water as a fundamental human right: “water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realisation of other human rights…”

More background on the Kalahari Bushmen’s struggle to have their right to water recognized can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?p=5277.