Comprehension exercise for senior school (with answers)
[Sourced from TIME]
You bring your feverish baby to the hospital in the middle of the night. The nurse asks you to go home to get a flashlight. When the flashlight batteries give out, she resorts to a flickering candle to guide the insertion of an IV needle, delivering malaria medicine, into your baby’s hand.
Maybe you don’t have a baby. Maybe you travel 14 miles a day by public bus to buy fresh fish to sell in your village. Every day, you must sell the fish before your ice melts and your inventory becomes worthless.
In much of Africa, this is the norm. Almost half of the continent’s 1.3 billion population live without electricity, which destroys opportunities for education, jobs and adequate medical care. That’s why the U.N. has set the global goal of providing electricity by 2030 to 600 million people who are currently without it. Achieving that target will require the participation of a range of players: large organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation; development institutions like the World Bank; the governments of African countries; and entrepreneurial minigrid utility companies like Energicity. Together, building on successes of recent years, we should aim to provide 6 million additional people with sustainable electricity in 2022, to put us on a pathway to reaching 600 million by 2030. To do so, all participants need to embrace new strategies over the next 12 months.
Q1. Describe the predicament of the sick child’s parents.
Answer .. The parents had to rush to the hospital with their sick child. Sadly for them, the hospital was all dark as there was no power supply. The hospital staff asked the parents to fetch a light. They got it from their home, but its batteries got drained soon. The nurse had to make do with a candle. She had to locate the vein in the sick child’s hand to insert the IV needle. Like this, the malaria vaccine was administered.
Q2. Why the fish bought from a nearby town has to be fully sold within hours?
Answer …Some fish sellers travel 14 miles by bus to buy fish in bulk from the nearby town’s fish market, and return to their village to sell them in retail to customers. Fish being a perishable commodity rots within hours, if not kept in ice or fridge. In the absence of electric power, such storage facilities are absent in villages. So, the traders need to sell all their stock within a few hours.
Q3. How Africa suffers due to inadequate power supply?
Answer . Almost half of Africa’s 1.3 billion population live without electric power. No power means no factories, no amenities, and no basic comforts at home. No trade can be done after dusk. No industries can be established in these areas. So, economic progress continues too delude the people. They are forced to live in the primitive ways.
Q4. What targets the U.N. has set for addressing Africa’s power woes? Who will be the main players in Africa’s efforts to bridge the gap between demand and supply of power?
Answer .. The United Nations wants to put the dark regions of Africa back in the growth path by providing electric power in those regions. The U.N. intends to rope in the Rockefeller Foundation of the U.S. and the World Bank to finance the massive power projects. The concerned governments will execute the work on the ground.
Q5. What are the targets for 2022? What are the targets for 2030?
Answer .. It wants to provide electric power to 6 million people by 2022 and 600 million people by 2030. The mammoth work has to be done in the coming 12 months.