1 JUNE 1991, Page 25

Real relief

Sir: Like many other of your readers, I am sure, I get bombarded with requests for charitable aid to Ethiopia and the. Sudan. Their plight is terrible, and I try to sub- scribe my mite.

However, do any of the relief agencies offer any more than a palliative, likely to recur every two to three years? What these people really need is two or more large desalination plants on the coast, several thousand miles of pipeline, seeds, tractors, and training.

The cost would be great, but the advan- tages enormous, and lasting. I for one would rather contribute to this than to blankets and sandwiches. What do the relief agencies say?

D. W. Livingstone

4 Miller's Court, Chiswick Mall, London W4