Morinville, C., & L. Rodina. (2013). Rethinking the Human Right to Water: Water Access and Dispossession in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Geoforum, 49: 150-159.
Abstract: This paper engages debates regarding the human right to water through an exploration the recent legal battle between San and Bakgalagadi and the government of Botswana regarding access to water in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The paper reviews the legal events that led to the realization of the human right to water through a decision of the Court of Appeal of Botswana in 2011 and the discursive context in which these events took place. We offer a contextual evaluation of the processes that allowed the actual realization of the human right to water for the residents of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, revisiting and extending dominant lines of inquiry related to the human right to water in policy and academic debates. Adding to these discussions, we suggest the use of ‘dispossession’ as an analytical lens is a useful starting point for a conceptual reframing of the human right to water. Doing so helps to expose some of the problems with the public/private binary, often at the centre of these debates, allowing for greater nuance regarding the potential of the human right to water in different contexts.