Man and his environment in the Western Kalahari

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In this paper I shall talk about the ways in which three groups of people get a living in the Kalahari and sane of the consequences these activities have for the environment. I shall be talking about the Bushmen, the Kgalagari and the Ghanzi farmers. My main concern is with the effect of level of technology on the natural environment. My theme is that technology at most levels is concerned overwhelmingly with short term material benefits to its users. Technology at its simplest is too weak to have much permanent effect on the environment, but only at its highest levels of sophistication does it became a conscious means of conservation so that high production can be sustained almost indefinitely. Between these technological extremes lie most of the world’s production systems and certainly most of the Kalahari ’ s. Indeed, one of the reasons why the Livestock Industry Development Project is regarded as a matter of sane urgency is that most of the areas in the Kalahari which are settled by permanent populations are severely devastated. The question is, then, hew scan can we reasonably expect the Kgalagari and other cattle people of the western Kalanari to acquire not only the techniques of improved production, but of sustained improved production or conservation farming? It is an easy tiling to get more out of the Kalahari, for a time, because the people there are most anxious to get a better living than they do now and will co-operate in a project which employs simple and accessible means towards this end.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr Wilbert Chagula Library, (EAF FOS D49.M3)
Devitt, Paul (1971) Man and his environment in the Western Kalahari