National exam | Humanities Stream | Catch-up Session 2015

National exam | Humanities Stream | Catch-up Session 2015

The exam’s Comprehension Text

       [1] Keesee went to Haiti 20 years ago as a member of a group of American volunteers. The group planned to build a clinic and a school in Seguin, a remote village in the mountains. Keesee was shocked when he saw how far women had to walk to get water, and the desperate efforts they made to collect rainwater. “Someone has to do something to help this village,” he said to himself.

       [2] It rains a lot in the village and Keesee wanted to collect rainwater and clean it so that the villagers could drink it. He decided to invent a simple system to achieve this goal. He collected plastic pipes and washing machine filters from garbage. Rainwater would flow into the plastic pipes, which were fixed on the roof of every house, and go through the filters which would make it clean, healthy water.

       [3] At first, it was not easy at all. But Keesee tried again every time the system failed to work. The villagers thought it was just impossible to bring clean water to each house, although they all gave a hand. But one day he saw his dream come true; the system worked well, to the surprise of the villagers. Clean water was there for every villager to drink.

       [4] “When I saw the system work for the first time, I cried out of joy. The villagers were running with their vessels to collect clean water,” he remembered. Felix, a woman from the village said: “We had to spend three hours a day walking to get water, which was often dirty and contaminated. Every drop of water was precious to us. Now water comes to our houses. More, it is clean water.”

       [5] “The quality of water provided by this system has greatly improved the health of the people in Seguin,” says a nurse. “Cholera was our biggest concern, mainly after the 2010 hurricane. But we have seen fewer and fewer people coming to our clinic with cholera or other diseases caused by contaminated water,” she adds.

       [6] “The system isn’t very complex. I just fixed pipes and filters to the roofs of the houses and caught water that fell out from the sky,” Keesee said in a recent interview. People should not overthink problems and look for solutions which are too complex. A simple water system which is made out of old pipes has improved the lives of many people.

Adapted from


National exam | Humanities Stream | Catch-up Session 2015 with Answers



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