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VG water woes heartbreaking- Dr Hubert O'Neal

- said equipment import delays heightening situation; hopes for relief before year-end
Dr The Honourable Hubert O'Neal, Representative for the Ninth District said the water situation on the island of Virgin Gorda is a heart breaking one for him and he considers it the number one issue as he is hopeful that the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool brings relief. Photo: VINO/File
Hon O'Neal said that while Aqua Designs has not given any timelines, he hopes that the upgrade works are completed before the end of the year. Photo: VINO/File
Hon O'Neal said that while Aqua Designs has not given any timelines, he hopes that the upgrade works are completed before the end of the year. Photo: VINO/File
The renewing of the contract for water production between Aqua Design (BV) Limited and Government on October 8, 2015. Seat from left: Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd Manager Mr Michael A. E. L. Matthew, Global Business Leader of GE Water and Process Technologies Mr Robert G. Gorgol, Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith and Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4). Photo: VINO/File
The renewing of the contract for water production between Aqua Design (BV) Limited and Government on October 8, 2015. Seat from left: Aqua Design (BVI) Ltd Manager Mr Michael A. E. L. Matthew, Global Business Leader of GE Water and Process Technologies Mr Robert G. Gorgol, Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith and Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4). Photo: VINO/File
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI – Dr The Honourable Hubert O'Neal, Representative for the Ninth District said the water situation on the island of Virgin Gorda is a heart breaking one for him and he considers it the number one issue and is hopeful that the Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4) brings relief.

On the eve of the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival last weekend, Minister Vanterpool (R4) said he was embarrassed about the water situation on Virgin Gorda, calling the territory's water problems his biggest challenge as Minister.

Speaking on Wednesday March 23, 2016 during the Seventh Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly, the Minister said, “Madam Speaker, water is a vexing issue and it has been the most challenging issue in my management in the Ministry of Communications and Works. ..not the Tortola Pier Park or the cruise ship development that has been my most challenging issue. It is the issue of water.”

“I had hoped that we could have had water to many more places in the territory on a consistent basis. To be honest Madam Speaker, as Minister I am very embarrassed by the situation in Virgin Gorda at this point in time,” Minister Vanterpool continued, noting that he was embarrassed the Government has not been able to address the issue in other parts of the country.

Hopeful for relief soon

However, Honourable O'Neal is hopeful that the water troubles on Virgin Gorda are brought to an end soon.

“[The water issue] is the number one issue in Virgin Gorda...I keep getting calls daily about it and it breaks my heart. I know the inconvenience it is causing and I hope to get it fixed as quickly as I can, working with the Minister [for Communications and Works and the Public Works Department],” said Honourable O'Neal in a comment to this news site on Sunday March 27, 2016.

According to Dr O'Neal the issue has been a very challenging one for him. He noted that the main water plants at Handsome Bay in Virgin Gorda has deteriorated over the years and no longer produces the amount of water it used to.

He also said the plant used to produce over 400,000 gallons a day but the equipment has deteriorated to the point where it no longer does that.

Equipment import delays

“The Minister did sign a new contract with Aqua Designs (BVI) Ltd. for them to upgrade the equipment and get it going. That was done since August of last year. But there has been a delay in getting the equipment imported so they have not quite completed upgrading but they are in the process of doing so.”

The first term District Representative said while Aqua Designs has not given any timelines, he hopes the upgrade works are completed before the end of the year. “I would figure that in the next three months or so it should be completed.”

The Ninth District Representative said that as a stop gap measure water is being barged from Tortola as the reservoir was running low and water could not be distributed to the district.

He noted that Aqua Designs has brought in a mobile desalination plant which was installed last week and which he said has started producing water. “I understand that it can produce over 200,000 gallons per day and that should be enough for the island. It is functioning right now,” he said.

Hon O'Neal noted that while the supply issue seems addressed for now, the other problem is distribution. Here he blamed old pumping systems and pipes that are breaking.

21 Responses to “VG water woes heartbreaking- Dr Hubert O'Neal”

  • notes (30/03/2016, 09:09) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    bet he has water though
  • Hmmm (30/03/2016, 09:13) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe the focus should not be on building walls around schools and focus on a real water plant for virgin gorda, all the classrooms in the world would make no sense if you can't shower properly to attend the same classes.
  • affected (30/03/2016, 09:16) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor Bertie , he aint got clue wat goin on in VG
    Which plant operating ?
    If so Y the barge here 3 days straight now
    Poor Fella
    I hope d Truck man gettin paid cause them does really work
    GOOD JOB GUYS !!
  • Sickening (30/03/2016, 10:00) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the action man wasn't playing hooky pokey with biwater and run the new pipes to all districts in tortola, we would not have been in all this mess now.
  • vgman (30/03/2016, 10:01) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    he is right it is heart breaking because so many vg people trusted you and this government and were mislead, the old people always did say promise is a comfort to a fool and they were right
    • Hmm (02/04/2016, 17:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      That's what you all get for trusting the NDP Government. They feed you all with a bunch of lies during election time and all of you fell for it. Now you all crying i live on Virgin Gorda and i am also affected by the water problem, but its time for you all to wake up and see that this is a waste of time government.
  • Aqua (30/03/2016, 10:32) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Be Real!
  • voter (30/03/2016, 11:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The "Anguillian" strikes again
  • when? (30/03/2016, 11:09) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    When will a member of NDP stand up to NDP and be a real person and say lord enough is enough? When will a person of good will and conscience broke ranks on behalf of the people. We need a Moses. We need a Mandela. Who will it be.
  • Time enough (30/03/2016, 11:16) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good going O'Neal. Stand up and fight for your people. U can live without NDP. You are a successful business man. You dont need NDP....Been known as a fighter for your people is a Nobel legacy..
  • Voters (30/03/2016, 13:04) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a mess for the next four years
  • Tired of excuses (30/03/2016, 13:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    There are truckloads of water coming to VG daily yet the southern side of the Valley cannot get water. This situation is really overbearing. All we get are promises and more promises and excuses and more excuses. Sad!!
  • Honestly (30/03/2016, 13:30) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is such a shame and a disgrace. Here we are in a new century and people still living in the dark ages. One of the most natural recourses water. Why is these incompetent people being elected?
  • Begging for water (30/03/2016, 19:02) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I understand that a Makeshift Desalination plant is in place. Why then are some areas in the Valley still suffering from lack of water while other areas always have an abundance of water? Though I applaud the hard work of the workers, I think that more could be done to ensure that all areas get water.
  • Xxx (30/03/2016, 23:20) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Spent the day in Virgin Gorda yesterday with members of my family and was appalled by the filthy state of the beaches,especially the Baths and gosh the water issue
  • l (30/03/2016, 23:30) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    four years of slumber under an NDP gang
  • VG (01/04/2016, 06:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The director is the problem does not knows what she is doing not even a clue bad decision to send her three mark vg not only water but a rat infested depot for the employ
  • water (02/04/2016, 09:44) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    May be we can get water tanks and full them up if we don't have cisterns to full up when we get the water. But for real we need to save conserve water more it will last a bit longer.


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