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Valuable digest of information about this remote region, one of 13 that comprise modern Namibia. It is one of the few places in the world where a large permanent river intersects a dry landscape: where the Okavango River navigates its course from catchment in Angola to its delta in Botswana.
The book underlines the contrasts of the region, in particular the relatively easy life alongside the river itself, as opposed to the challenges of survival in the surrounding countryside. It investigates the constraints and problems of life in Kavango today, and details the opportunities, from small-scale subsistence farming to ranch ownership, from traditional life in the hinterland to the emerging phenomenon of urbanisation. The chapters cover geology, historical background, climate, the Okavango River, natural resources, the people, welfare, land ownership and distribution and prospects for the future.
Statistical data and geographical information in the form of diagrams, figures, charts and maps support the text, as do many colourful photographs of the region.
Selma el Obeid was born in Sudan; she trained there and also in France, and later worked in Vietnam, Chad and Burundi. She has worked in Namibia for the past six years.
John Mendelsohn was born in Kenya, and most of his education was received in South Africa. He has lived in Namibia for 15 years. Together, Mendelsohn and el Obeid offer a variety of research services through RAISON (Research and Information Services of Namibia), especially in the fields of environmental information, education and health. The results of most of their recent research have been disseminated in several published books.