Reading Comprehension Assignment

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Reading Comprehension Asssignment

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions which follow;

Approximately one billion people are being added to the world’s population every twelve years. One reason for this rise in number is the widespread improvements in basic health care. These improvements have lowered infant mortality and lengthened their life span. But the very success of these health programmes now threatens the future. By the end of the century, half of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. One fifth of these people will live in big cities of four million or more. According to a United Nations (UN) estimate, by the year 2000, Lagos alone will contain more than eight million people struggling for space like bees in a hive.
Migrants are pulled towards the city not only by the hope of better access to education, health services and jobs, but also by rural poverty. One of the causes of which is the increasingly damaged environment. During the first half of 1980’s, at least ten million Africans were forced off their land largely by the extended drought and famine. Most of the survivors ended up in urban slums or refugee camps where usage drinking water and inadequate housing and health facilities caused high rates of infant mortality.
Problems arise when the population growth outstrips a society’s capacity to adapt to its needs. Apart from the social cost of rapid urbanization and the problem of unemployment that accompanies it, urban growth eats up arable land. Maintenance of cities also absorbs the national development budgets at the expense of the rural sector.
Fortunately, under the stress of increasing numbers and demands, the environment has shown surprising powers of recovery.
There is every reason, therefore, to believe that the earth can sustain the increasing needs of the next industry.


a. What factors help to increase the population of the world?

b. What attractions make people want to live in the cities?

c. Where do refugees from the rural areas finally live?

d. What effects does the growth of cities have on rural areas?

like bees in a hive

e. What figure of speech is used in the above expression?

f. For each of the following words, find another word or phrase that means the same and which can replace it in the passage.

(i) Approximately

(ii) Lengthened

(iii) Mortality

(iv) Estimate

(v) Largely

(vi) Capacity

(vii) Absorbs

g. State the grammatical name and function of underlined expression in the passage;

(i) one billion people

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