Eviction of tribes by the Bostwana government draws criticism

Published: Monday 31 July 2006

Bushmen: Out of the bush Health and Indigenous People's Displacement The Lancet

The Lancet has published an article heavily criticising the Botswana government's eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Far from improving the Bushmen's lives, eviction has caused dramatic deterioration in their health, the article reports. It cites increasing exposure to hiv / aids as an example of the effects of eviction on the Bushmen. It also states: "Increasing consumption of alcohol in resettled Bushmen colonies has been reported over the last two decades, attributed to cultural upheaval and loss of land, resources and community networks."

The article, "Health of Indigenous People in Africa", emphasises the importance of land rights in determining indigenous peoples' health in Africa. "Evidence indicates that indigenous health is worse in many respects than that of majority populations, particularly where through loss of land and other natural resources they are no longer able to maintain traditional livelihoods and sustain traditional knowledge, culture and institutions," it notes. The piece, however, has not cut much ice with the Botswana government

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