21st March 2019

People & The River

This post is also available in: pt-ptPortuguês

The Cuvelai Basin is home to 1.2 million people. The basin is very dry, prone to both floods and drought and supports a large rural population whose livelihoods are in most case directly dependant on agriculture and the availability of water.  Despite the high flood risk, the population density is relatively high with generally fertile soils and the availability of freshwater having made the Cuvelai an attractive settlement area. Transboundary relations and linkages are strong among the basin population, both in the social sphere where a single tribal group, the Ambó or Owambo people have traditionally dominated the landscape on both sides of the border, and in economic terms through formal and informal trade.

The heavy dependence on agriculture and livestock, fisheries and other natural resources, means that the people of the basin are sensitive and vulnerable to the highly variable nature of the climate. This challenge is further amplified by increasing population pressures and climate change. 


Click the button below for more about the people, their livelihoods and their interaction with the river and the natural resources of the basin, follow the river from the highlands in Angola to the Etosha Pan in Namibia.

Top