Botswana hunting ban angers Bushmen

San bushman of Botswana.  PHOTO | BBC

A hunting ban in Botswana is set to reopen old wounds with the most affected community, the Bushmen, claiming the move was a violation of their right to food.

Botswana’s President Ian Khama has announced that government will no longer issue licences for hunting wild animals in 2014.

The move is aimed at protecting the country’s natural heritage and the tourism industry.

President Khama said the licences were fuelling poaching in the country while also stifling the tourism industry’s growth.

Basarwa have already engaged the Botswana Khwedom Council to fight the decision.

The organisation’s executive director, Mr Keikabile Mogodu confirmed that they would confront the government over the issue.

“We are deliberating on how we can engage government on the issue as we feel the decision was taken swiftly without proper consultation and any empirical evidence to justify it,” he said.

He added that the decision to ban hunting licences was in sharp contrast to their poverty eradication energies.

Hunting concessions are currently operated within the delta as well as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – home to the Basarwa.

The Basarwa feel the decision by government undermines their culture as a tribe.

Mogodu said Basarwa are convinced that properly administered hunting is not detrimental to wildlife population.

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