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‘Give sister islands some independence’ – VG resident to Gov’t

- said it is archaic to have an electricity system that shuts down an entire territory of multiple islands when a small problem develops on Tortola
The woman with microphone told Government while at the public meeting at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda on January 25, 2018 that it’s antiquated to have a system of electricity that shuts down an entire territory of multiple islands when a small problem develops on the main island. Photo: Facebook
From left: Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and Head of the Recovery Task Force Mr Broderick Penn at the public meeting at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda on January 25, 2018. Photo: Facebook
From left: Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and Head of the Recovery Task Force Mr Broderick Penn at the public meeting at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda on January 25, 2018. Photo: Facebook
A resident of Virgin Gorda makes her contribution to the public consultations on the National Recovery and Development Plan at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda on January 25, 2018. Photo: Facebook
A resident of Virgin Gorda makes her contribution to the public consultations on the National Recovery and Development Plan at the Catholic Community Centre in Virgin Gorda on January 25, 2018. Photo: Facebook
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI – In a full Catholic Community Centre on Virgin Gorda, leaders of the territory heard that it’s antiquated to have a system of electricity that shuts down an entire territory of multiple islands when a small problem develops on the main island.

This was just one of several points raised at the second community meetings of Government with its people. This meeting was held on January 25, 2018 when a re-migrant resident highlighted a number of shortfalls in the Government’s proposed five-year recovery and development plan for the territory.

The plan was put together by a group of government staff without the presence of the private sector, which is deemed a major sect of the Territory, especially as it’s considered the “bread winner” of any country.

A little more independence needed

Touching on the point of sister islands’ independence, the resident said, “Earlier you mentioned that there was a complete breakdown in communication between islands. Honourable Premier you indicated that within Tortola there was a breakdown across the islands. Is there any consideration going to be given, perhaps each island a little more….so that if one sister falls the other can pick up the slack?”

She pointed to one of the most recent power outages that sent the territory in total darkness as a justification to her suggestion. “Just two days ago we had an island outage, because I understand they were fixing something in the area near the college. That should not be this is 21st century. I think we have technology where we can have independence but still be one country. So is any consideration being given to give us a little more independence so that Virgin Gorda can function independent to Tortola as was the case in some instances with Anegada?” she asked.

“For instance, generators, if we had our own system here we can help our capital. We may be just a sister but we can help our capital, the seat of our government,” the woman continued.

What is in the recovery plan to attract locals abroad?

On another note of interest, she said many locals were forced to leave the Territory for reasons more than one after the devastation cause by the hurricanes and wanted to know what provisions are being made to have those persons return to assist in the rebuilding of the Territory. “We are talking about structural rebuilding. What are the human factor?...What is being done to bring our educated, experienced residents, locals, back home so that they can contribute to the rebuilding and sustenance of this country?”

“I don’t see that we tend to think of material, things that we can put a dollar figure on but I am looking at the tangibles, how are we going to rebuild our country without people?”

She noted too that she returned to the Virgin Islands after being away for many years. “…I consider this my home I grew up here but what space are you making for them [overseas based VIslanders] to return? How comfortable are you going to make them feel when they return? That I think should be part of this recovery plan.”

Socially Cohesive

Head of the Recovery Task Force Mr Broderick Penn said the draft plan covers the entire territory.

However, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) reiterated that the hurricanes of 2017 presented the territory with challenges and opportunities. “The challenge is how do we rebuild and what it will cost to get there but opportunities that we could rebuild better and stronger and greener….?”

A part of that, according to Dr Smith, means being more socially cohesive. “And being more socially cohesive means to me all starting now, that everybody in this community, the entire BVI community, should contribute to the discussion we are having now about how we can rebuild together.”

Premier Smith also endorsed the suggestion of more independence for the islands as is relates to each having some form of the core arm of government on the sister islands. “These are thing that must be present on all the islands in the BVI but they must all work together because it’s just one territory.”

Calls for Virgin Gorda to manage more of its affairs have been strong by its residents following the hurricanes of 2017.

7 Responses to “‘Give sister islands some independence’ – VG resident to Gov’t”

  • north sound (26/01/2018, 11:36) Like (19) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's a done deal that's why I stayed home
  • resident (26/01/2018, 13:06) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    the bvi is a third world country
  • ---------------- (26/01/2018, 13:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    these district representatives will never give up power like that
  • wize up (26/01/2018, 14:31) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s my personal opinion, a number of issues plaguing the territory began over 20 years ago and got progressively worse: the major sister islands should by now have there own power and water plants: governments have the tendency to invest on visitor related issues whosever the private sector benefits more from government promotions: granted the administration get head tax; room tax but when you compare the return on government investments it’s joke money to what those in visitors related private sector rakes in: this 2018 and the BVI still encountering sewage issues: Power Issues: and Water Issues; But turns and invest millions in a beach
    • Gumption.Official (26/01/2018, 17:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Agreed with you. We’re only unveiling the painting or inheriting from what was done physically and spiritual to our community. Now we seen what we have, let us asked ourselves what kind of painting would our children now but full grown adults will be unveiling. Don’t let our children come and meet this huge mess 20 years from now. An effect will effect our community 20 years from now. I’m hoping it’s a positive effect.
  • anegada (28/01/2018, 07:01) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The lady has a point. Give the major islands their own plant. Anegada has its own plant and post Irma our electricity workers , a team from Grenada and members of the Anegada community worked tirelessly to get our system back up.


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