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Race and History Forum

San fight to keep Kalahari hunting grounds *LINK*

Mail and Guardian Online,

05 March 2004

Following the seasonal rains, the Kalahari Desert in central Botswana is alive with rolling waves of green grasses and stretches of bright yellow wild flowers. Large herds of antelope munch the vegetation and canter across the plains. Jackals and hyenas lurk nearby to pick off the stragglers.

Morua Kgoma (62) has picked a pouchful of tasty berries. He has also plucked fresh, pulpy leaves and pounded them in a mortar to make a kind of bush pesto. With long, elegant fingers Kgoma has expertly uncovered tubers that look like new potatoes and small onions. He will roast them over a fire for an evening meal.

"There is lots of food here," he says. "We can always survive here. We know where to find our food. This is where we were born and where we belong."

But life has become increasingly difficult for Kgoma and the other San people of the Molapo community. The Botswanan government, in an ongoing campaign to force them off the Kalahari, has cut off their water supplies, closed schools and health clinics and stopped paying monthly pensions to the elderly and disabled. Full Article

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