Comparing two texts; 'Ferry Across the Lake' & 'Britain's big problem with water'Watch
Ferry Across the Lake:
Our tents were pitched right at the water's edge. Water hyacinths fl oated in front of us, and across
the inlet we could see Mwanza, a vibrant African city that seemed to grow even as we watched it. I sat
there on an inlet of a huge and beautiful expanse of water and thought about the role this mighty lake
had played in the great explorations of the past.
The next morning, at 6:00 a.m. exactly, the fi sh eagles screeched their mocking cry. It was a
wonderful way to wake up. An ibis bird also made its hideous shriek as it fl ew across the bay in front
of our camp on the water. A few minutes later, we were treated to a spectacular sunrise. At fi rst, a few
glimmers of golden light; then the huge, red ball rose over the hills behind Mwanza. Apart from the
occasional fi shing boat, the scene was undisturbed. Little egrets and kites silhouetted themselves
against the rising sun. An idyllic spot. This would be a good way to start every morning. No other
sounds. Just the birds and the water lapping quietly on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Our plan was to go by the local ferry to Mwanza.
We managed to get to the ferry terminal well before 9:00 a.m., but already the crowds were so thick
that we were not sure we could get on. The ferry, with us on it, eventually left at 9:30 a.m. The day
got hotter and hotter with each minute.
The ferry was packed with buses, petrol tanks, vans, land cruisers, jeeps, fuel tankers, cars –– and
people. The people pressed up against the front of the ferry, along the sides and against the rails. They
favoured brilliantly coloured clothing: shirts, T-shirts, dresses of red, violet, indigo, blue, green,
yellow, and orange. It was as hot as hell –– and getting hotter. People took refuge in the shade of the
buses. We would be heading eastward into the sun and into the glare.
A year or so earlier, one of these ferries went down just outside Mwanza, and people were killed.
How do they gauge the weight? There seemed to be no organized method. I wondered how much this
decrepit old ferry boat could carry.
The engines started with a low rumble, and the ferry moved hesitantly forward and slowly entered
Lake Victoria, a fl oating mass of metal and people. The engines vibrated; the passengers waited
patiently. I could not believe that they could get this huge, heavy weight away from the slender
landing pier and out onto the lake, but somehow the craft stayed afl oat. We felt a bit of breeze at last
as we slowly chugged into a little bay. We travelled northward fi rst, out among a bevy of fi shing boats,
turned until the bow pointed back towards the ferry terminal, then headed east to Mwanza ––
apparently stern fi rst. The journey across the gulf took about an hour. When we arrived in Mwanza at
about 10:30 a.m., another teeming mass of people waited at the pier.
Britain's Big Problem with water:
Think of countries which don't have
enough water and your mind might fl y to
arid, largely desert nations in the Middle
East and North Africa. But, you could
also consider somewhere closer to
hand: the most prosperous part of our
green and pleasant land is worse off
than any of them.
That seems pretty improbable. After all,
ours is a notoriously soggy nation
where it often seems that, as
Shakespeare put it, "the rain it raineth
every day". But it's true. South East
England has less water per head than
the places above.
Partly that's because we are two
nations when it comes to the weather. The North and West normally get plenty of rain – often more than
they want – but the South and East receive less than some parts of the Mediterranean. Added to which,
it's the most heavily populated part of the country.
Things are only going to get worse. Another one and a half million homes have been planned for the
overcrowded region over the next 15 years. And global warming is expected to sharpen the dampness
divide over the next 70, increasing rainfall sharply in the wet part of the country and cutting it by as much
as half in the South and East.
Recent reports have predicted permanent water-rationing in the South East by 2025. And that families
may face extra charges for using it excessively.
Yet half of all the housing built in Britain since the Second World War has been plonked down on land
prone to fl ooding. Successive governments have neglected fl ood defences; when the big 2007 fl oods
came, only about half were in good condition. As the South East gets drier, the damper part of the
country is likely to suffer increasing fl oods. Already fl ooding is twice as frequent as it was 100 years
ago, and the Environment Agency expects it to increase tenfold over coming decades.
A government report estimated that the cost of damage could rise from an average of around £2 billion a
year to more than £25 billion by 2080. It has been suggested that new houses in the Thames Gateway
should be built with their living areas on the fi rst fl oor. Also that hospitals and other vital buildings should
be built on high ground and railways and other essential infrastructure protected from fl ooding.
There are a few encouraging signs. Water companies are taking some measures to conserve supplies
and local councils are fi nally beginning to take fl ood risk seriously in planning decisions. But we have
Please help me out. This is the first time I'm doing a comparision question for GCSE. Really need yo help guys