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Residents - Gov’t ignoring sister-islands, giving “all attention” to Tortola

Sister Islands Coordinator Wheatley: It is a work in progress
Residents of Anegada are of the opinion that they are treated unfairly and that the island of Tortola gets most of the attention from Government. Photo: VINO
Virgin Gorda residents are complaining of lack of attention as well with one resident calling for a 24-hour clinic. Photo: VINO
Virgin Gorda residents are complaining of lack of attention as well with one resident calling for a 24-hour clinic. Photo: VINO
One resident of Jost Van Dyke said politicians only visit the island when its election time and feels that they are neglected.
One resident of Jost Van Dyke said politicians only visit the island when its election time and feels that they are neglected.
In response to the residents concerns, 9th District representative Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, said
In response to the residents concerns, 9th District representative Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, said "it depends on what the persons are being ignored about, they have Police Officers, teachers, doctors, and clinics, when it comes to the roads, yes the roads need fixing up but plans are made to do that."
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The Virgin Islands (VI) is known for its beaches, historical sites, architecture and its flourishing economy. The VI is dubbed to be one of the most prosperous islands in the Caribbean with the highest income generators in tourism and financial services.

Does this statement apply to all the islands of the Virgin Islands, or just for Tortola?

In a recent investigation carried out by Virgin Islands News Online, residents of the sister islands -Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda and Anegada - say much differently and share their opinions with Virgin Islands News Online with most of them of the opinion that the island of Tortola receives much more attention from the Government and feel it is unfair and should not continue.

Jost Van Dyke
In speaking with some of the residents of Jost Van Dyke, they all shared the same sentiments. They expressed that the living conditions experienced on the island can be much better.

Mr. Gregory Callwood, a Virgin Islander and Jost Van Dyke resident, gave an example saying that the only heavy equipment truck on the island was out of order and even though reports reached the Government offices, he claimed they were ignored and the island was forced to do without the machine.

Mr. Callwood, along with another resident of the island, expressed that the roads on the island are no good, there is no backup generator for electricity in the government services buildings, and facilities on the island are deteriorating.

"The building that houses our government offices, post offices, immigration and police station, the paint is literally falling off, it looks a mess," said Mr Callwood.

When asked if the politicians gave the same support to the people of Jost van Dyke as they give to the people of Tortola, One resident’s response was "Definitely, definitely, definitely, not!”

Lucien Callwood, another JVD resident, informed this news site that the politicians ignore the people of Jost Van Dyke and only visit the island around election time.

Lucien went on to state that the government of the VI needs to pay more attention to the Sister Islands. "The only attention we get is when they make a speech on the radio where they say from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke, they just use us for a stepping stone or a phrase.”

Another resident expressed that the politicians need to create love in their hearts for Jost Van Dyke, and realize that they are people too and to take their request seriously.

"Anegada is smaller than the main land territory (in population) but we all live and are governed under the rules of the VI," says a resident of that Island.

In relation to the living standards on Anegada, Mr. Jerry Vanterpool expressed that it is at its best to those who have access to good living. "In general it has problems but can be much better, based on the income some people receive; it is hard, very hard."

Some residents informed this publication that Anegada has always been left for last in anything and everything.

"For example, a blood pressure monitor was requested for the clinic in Anegada, an old one that used at the clinic in Tortola was given and the clinic in Tortola received a brand new blood pressure monitor, these things aren’t right," expressed an anonymous resident who wished not to be named.
In an effort to make Anegada better, the residents this news site spoke with are suggesting that they should be awarded with all the services the government provides on Tortola.

"The people of Anegada should have first preference of service in Tortola because of circumstances such as work, time and distance," said Mr. Vanterpool.

Virgin Gorda
The people of Virgin Gorda expressed that they are a bit more comfortable than the residents of the other sister islands, but everything is still not “fine and dandy”.

Mr. Chennele Vanterpool of Virgin Gorda, told Virgin Islands News Online that the medical services on the island when compared to those of Tortola are not adequate and it is very unfair.

"This is because the abandonment of all the politicians from since 1964 right down to 2012," he claimed.

With a similar case as the one given in Anegada, the VG resident claimed that donations were made to the clinic in Virgin Gorda but the health authorities moved the equipment to Tortola to be used.

"Tortola gets first hand of everything," said another confused resident of the island.

When asked one thing that can be done to improve Virgin Gorda, another concerned resident said it will be to introduce a 24-hour clinic, because of the absence of a hospital.

She continued by saying there is a need for the introduction and availability of low income houses in Virgin Gorda, which will result in the betterment of the island.
She added that it is evident that Tortola gets more attention than any other island.

She said there are rumors circulating that the Virgin Gorda airport is going to close again, and if this happens, “Virgin Gorda will be going back 15-20 years”.

District Representative Ralph T. O’Neal responds
In speaking with Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, 9th District Representative, in relation to the residents concerns of being ignored by the government, he replied that "it depends on what the persons are being ignored about, they have Police Officers, teachers, doctors, and clinics, when it comes to the roads, yes the roads need fixing up but plans are made to do that." Mr. O’Neal has represented Virgin Gorda since 1975 and Anegada was added in 1979 and formed the 9th district.

Work in progress, says Sister Islands Coordinator Wheatley
Sister Islands Programme Coordinator, Mr. Vincent Wheatley commented by saying that, pertaining to the Sister Islands, "they are better than they use to be, it is a work in progress".

"What I would tell you about the Sister Islands is that they have come a long way from where they have been, they aren't where they will be or should be but it’s a work in progress, I wouldn’t say that the sister islands have been neglected, I would say that information is rather slow," said Mr. Wheatley
He said in some instances they may have been over looked.

In relation to the Sister Islands receiving old equipment while the main land claims a new one, his response was, "that it doesn’t make sense." In giving an example he said, "if there is money for one new machine, the machine wouldn’t be sent down to a Sister Islands for '20' people but rather be sent to the main land Tortola for 1500 people. He noted that with the old machine provided to the sister island, they can adequately service the small amount of people."

31 Responses to “Residents - Gov’t ignoring sister-islands, giving “all attention” to Tortola”

  • JVD (25/04/2012, 10:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well saw
    • Janet Williams (25/04/2012, 13:19) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      we must take better care of our brothers and sisters living on the outter islands!!!! this is not St. Kitss -Nevis where St. Kitts use to send the old stuff to Nevis..BVI can do better
  • Real Talk (25/04/2012, 10:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You all get what you vote for on those islands, especially VG and Anegada. You like sufferation, I don't mean to be harsh but I hate ignorance! The Govt. is in 6mths, tried so much to keep our finances in check and keep UK off our back, while checking into tourism, financial services, water, sewerage etc. You let Ralph and his band of lunatics run the country down for 4yrs straight you didn't say a word. Now you talking about being left out? Wait your turn!
  • vg (25/04/2012, 10:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vincent, Shame on you. We pay the same taxes. Maybe Tortola people shopuld pay more tax since only them can get new equipment. Dont try to run for elections. We will remember this
    • the rock says (25/04/2012, 13:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      vg should be the last island to speak..u all had the top dog in charge for so much damn years and what happen..nothing...nothing at all... so stop talking crap about vincent this and vincent that!!
    • Ty-Rexx (25/04/2012, 16:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Even if Vincent THOUGHT it, he shouldn't have SAID it. My goodness . . . . . . .
      • @@@@@ (27/04/2012, 06:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Bouy vincent did somebody tell deeds ppl you running for something?
  • so so (25/04/2012, 12:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    the sister islands have been suffering for years what new...and it also means the at large system is a waste of time boss
  • Not2Sure (25/04/2012, 12:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    90% of the attention goes to Tortola, because that is where 90% of the people live. They ask everyone in JVD, VG, Anegada how life is on those islands: they forgot to ask Tola people how life is on Tortola. Well here is some news for you: life is tough on Tortola right now as well.
    • Flag Out!!! (25/04/2012, 14:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Maaaannn! On Tola you go sleep flag out and wake up flag out!!! The lil man dem too rampant in dis place!
    • vg (25/04/2012, 15:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Who puts the most money in the treasury
  • valley (25/04/2012, 13:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is shameful hope the ndp looks out
  • dude (25/04/2012, 13:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Things ain even got done in Tola yet give them a chance nuh man, it's not like there's $$$ to roll out everything one time
  • U. Smith (25/04/2012, 14:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    where are the so call At. large dem fast asleep deman
  • VG STRONG (25/04/2012, 14:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is true... i am a ndp supporter and i see them neglecting the sister islands as the past government did with RT and his stooges did. ndp is doing a little more but still not enuff.... they did promise better health care on vg. i remember it was on the top of the list. small island suck salt as usual...
  • local tourist (25/04/2012, 14:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Any one who willing to be honest will agree, the sister islands are treated like step children. Its a fact and it shouldnt be sugar coat. The evidence is all over Virgin Gorda and why now are they complaining, they didnt even vote to try to fix it. As if they dont know what King Solomon say. The key word is perrish...........
    • Correction (25/04/2012, 15:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      "Local Tourist", you are on the ball, but I have seen that the Sister Islands (Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke) are not being treated like step children. Some step children are treated very well. The Sister Islands are being treated like unwanted bastard children!!!! The only people who disagree are those NOT living there. They wouldn't possibly understand. (I am a 'Tolian)
      • Real Talk (25/04/2012, 19:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        If that is the case why have they been voting for the same representatives for the last 20 years. Can you explain that? I'm listening.
  • Reality (25/04/2012, 15:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a sister islands resident and worker in Tortola I have to agree with Vincent that it is not that the sister islands are willfully or intentionally overlooked, not so at all, but in a lot of the cases Governemnt has to decide between a second hand piece of equipment or no equipment at all for the sister islands. Which ever Government is in power will have to deal with this issue. I am sure everyone will agree that ideally everything that exist on Tortola should also exist on all the sister islands but this is not an ideal world. Every island nation the world has ever seen has had this very challenge. Let us as sister islands residents come together and come up with solutions that will help us along on our journey towards a higher standard of living. There is no point blaming anyone. This is just our reality.
  • Old Man (25/04/2012, 15:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    man I was just thinking about moving to Jost Van Dyke...
  • Real Talk (25/04/2012, 19:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ya'll don't realize that the outer islands that balling are the ones in the districts where they have been electing the same representative no matter what, for over 20 years consecutively? Do you realize that? Alvin in the 2nd District which JVD falls and Ralph in the 9th District where VG and Anegada falls. That is no coincidence, it seems these people love to be taken advantage of. The problem is that when election comes around and the bribes start coming around, they get temporary amnesia and vote back in the loons then the cycle starts all over again. They wait 20yrs, they can wait another few months, tell them stop the bickering!
    • go home (25/04/2012, 23:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      you got elected via bribes and you got the balls to be in here with your hogwash...for god sake garret
    • Pomgranite (26/04/2012, 06:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      real talk hit the nail onthe head...U meant u suffer enough under the former administration and said nothing, yet you voted the same people in outright again and now want to be making a fuss casue the previous reps did nothing, but yet you vote them in again!. Is it me or is it that IGNORANTS and badmindedness run tings out there!..
  • virgin (25/04/2012, 23:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    well tortola is where the capital is at so what you expect???
  • text (26/04/2012, 07:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some times tortola does not get what is required muss let the other islands!!!!!
  • ABC (26/04/2012, 22:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    goodness gracious you mean we got second class residents on the other islands?
  • car jack (27/04/2012, 01:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All governments are the same they care not about the other islands and cay!
  • Reality (27/04/2012, 08:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Boy Vince Hubert with like it if you don't run, he done feel that only you could beat him, don't mind the noise anytime you decide to run we got your back, you is one of we. Don't bother with these set of small minded people who think you can be defined by two lines in an online newspaper.
  • Tourist (27/04/2012, 09:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have been sailing through the British Virgin Islands for the past 30 years and I have seen the great progress that has been made, I am not sure what locals mean when they say that nothing has been done, I think in cases too much has been done to where the islands are loosing their appeal. Be careful what you as for, you might actually get it.

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