A Culture Vanishes in Kalahari Dust

by Craig Timberg

MALAPO, Botswana — In the Kalahari Desert, where the landscape stretches brown and dusty in every direction, water is power. So when the truckloads of men from the government rumbled up to this ancient Bushmen village three years ago, they found the steel drums that held the community’s precious reserves. Then, said villagers, the men tipped the drums over, spilling the water into the sand.