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CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL EXAMINATIONS Cambridge Checkpoint ENGLISH Paper 1 May 2003 1 hour plus 7 minutes’ reading time No Additional Materials are required
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This document consists of 7 printed pages and 1 blank page.
Ó CIE 2003
2 Section A: Reading 1 Read this account of how a machine has made a great deal of difference to some villagers' lives in Lebanon.
Nobody is happier in the little southern village of Kfar Sir than its one and only police officer. “I can take things easier now,” he tells me as he pulls up a chair and bids me sit down. I have driven the two hours from Beirut because I heard that a village in south Lebanon 5 had found a way to solve its waste problem. “Like all villages we used to burn our trash,” says the friendly police officer as he leads me to the site of the old trash dump. “The smoke was horrible, the smell disgusting and flies were everywhere,” he says. “I used to get fifty complaints a day and spent all my time soothing people. But I couldn’t do anything about it.” But now his worries are over. He introduces me to Mohammed Nisr, the mayor of Kfar 10 Sir, who swells with pride on learning that I am in the village to hear about their new composting machine. “Mayors from all over the country are calling me or are coming to see for themselves what we have done here,” he says. “Everybody is suffering from the waste problem because there is so much construction in Lebanon and the people are living closer 15 together.” The mayor guides me to the composting site. Here a round drum, about ten metres long, rotates smoothly with conveyor belts on either side. Two workers sift through trash bags and remove nylons, plastics, aluminium, metal and cartons. The rest is placed on the input belt and is promptly devoured by the drum. At the other end, barrels collect the resulting dark-brown organic sludge from the 20 machine once it has processed the waste. “Look at this. It’s fast, clean and has no smell. At least ten barrels are filled every day,” explains Nisr, grabbing a sample. I am curious to meet the ‘brains’ behind the machine and find myself facing a lively thirty-year-old engineer named Zaid Abi Shaker. While pursuing his higher studies in the United States, he led a research team who over five years developed ways to 25 convert organic waste into compost in the quickest, most cost-effective and least foul-smelling way. “We used a special mixture of enzymes and bacteria which eat into the organic garbage, transforming it into compost,” he explains to me. “We then worked on developing the mechanics: how the drum rotates, how the garbage moves from one 30 compartment to another.” Once he was back in Lebanon, he met officials who were looking for ways to develop rural areas. And so, Kfar Sir became the first village to discover the world of quick composting. “This is the only machine outside the United States which gives results in 35 three days,” says Abi Shaker proudly. “Others take from seventy to ninety days.”
3 Eager to use this healthy compost, the Mayor of Kfar Sir has declared about thirty thousand metres of municipality land as a natural reserve. “This is where it all goes,” says Nsir. He leads me into the protected area where tree shoots...