THF battle to save the Aral sea (Down To Earth, Vol 4, No 12), which has been on for several years now, is plagued by a dearth of solutions. "They are compiling voluminous reports, listing developments and sending sporadic humanitarian relief. Yet, they have so far failed to come up with a single project that would help us stop this disaster," says Berclibek Saparbayev, administrator of Kazakhstan's Kzyl-Orda region, of the 93 Kazakh and foreign organisations working on the huge inland lake.

According to Erkin Sultanbekov, chairperson of the international culture research society, one possible measure could be to divert subterranean waters of central Asia's Kara Kum desert to the area. However, what requires urgent attention is the concentration of toxic chemicals in the region which is a consequence of shrinking water levels.

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