Flood Levels and Borderlines: Livestock Farming and Evictions Resistance at the !Garib/Orange River in Southern Africa


  • Luregn Lenggenhager University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Andrea Rosengarten Northwestern University, USA


This article places the life history of an African livestock farmer on the banks of the !Garib/Orange river in Namibia in the context of the forced removal threats he has faced in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras. Despite being excluded from land ownership opportunities throughout the twentieth century and up to the present day, this farmer and his family have used their nuanced environmental knowledge of the river, its position, and its flooding history to their advantage to maintain their livelihood. However, the unclear demarcation of the Namibian-South African international border with respect to the river complicates the family’s present challenges.

Author Biographies

Luregn Lenggenhager, University of Basel, Switzerland

Luregn Lenggenhager is a historian at the Centre for African Studies (University of Basel). He is currently coordinating an interdisciplinary research project on landscape narratives along the !Garib River. He recently published his doctoral thesis, “Ruling Nature, Controlling People: Nature Conservation, Development and War in North-Eastern Namibia since the 1920s.”

Andrea Rosengarten, Northwestern University, USA

Andrea Rosengarten is a historian interested in race, segregation, and historical geography in colonial and apartheid Namibia. She is currently completing her PhD in African History at Northwestern University (USA). She is a recipient of the Fulbright-Hays DDRA research fellowship and the CLIR/Mellon Foundation fellowship for dissertation research in original sources.

Photo of people and a goat next to a river.