BVI News

RDA signs contract with UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office

From left: Health Minister Carvin Malone, RDA Chairman Robert Mathavious, Governor Augustus Jaspert. and Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley

The Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) has signed a contract that will see the United Kingdom government funding what is known as a Very High Frequency (VHF) radio network and a marine survey for the British Virgin Islands.

During the contract signing on Monday, Chairman of the RDA Robert Mathavious said it was fitting to see the UK team contributing some much-needed resources towards the territory’s ongoing recovery.

“Today we are here to sign two contracts that will foster and further the development of the territory that will strengthen the VHF communication for police security and the Department of Disaster Management. And, also a contract that will be extremely important that will help us better plan our marine environment,” Mathavious said.

A window to increased economic activity

Natural Resources Minister Vincent Wheatley saw the move as one that will open the proverbial door for increased economic activity in the territory.

“This marine survey is critically important to the BVI because it allows the BVI to make a very important step to move to an exclusive economic zone (EEZ). It gives the territory a whole new dimension for entrepreneurship and for development,” the minister said.

He further said moving to the EEZ allows the territory to control the ocean’s current and the marine environment for about 200 nautical miles.

“I am really pleased to see that development taking place at this particular point … Although it might seem like a simple survey, it is really the fundamental thing that needs to happen at this point in time for a lot of other things to take place afterwards.”

He said an area the new survey will assist with is the much-talked-about environmental bill.

Unspecified value

Meanwhile, the contract was specifically signed between the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the RDA. The value of the contract was not disclosed.

Governor Augustus Jaspert, who also gave remarks at the signing, noted that the agreement between the BVI and Britain follows a UK-funded project known as the Overseas Territories Seabed Mapping Programme which took place in September last year.

The programme was to gather a critical geographical survey called Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), which is a method of mapping whereby a laser scanner is used to measure the earth’s terrain.

He said surveying the territory’s marine reserve would help how the BVI maximises its marine resources and how it nurtures, protects and builds an ocean plan.

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  1. strupes says:

    nutting for de small man

  2. Looking On says:

    What is this really? Can we be more forthcoming as to the nature of the project, its investment time scale, length of econonic life, economic costs and benefits/revenues as well as market segment it is directed at? How does this relate to young entrepreneurs? Need more answers, please.

  3. Accra says:

    Hon. Vincent Wheatley facial expression says it all…?

  4. Quiet Warrior says:

    The Recovery Development Agency (RDA) is an affront to the competence and confidence in the BVI duly elected government. It is an insult to and a setback to the political progress made. This is putting training wheels back on the BVI government and its people. Where else in the Overseas Territory orbit is this ball and chain mechanism employed?

    The RDA is an alternative government. To add insult to injury, the CEO, a glorified construction project manager, is allegedly earning some $350,000+ per annum. The Hon Premier A. A. Fahie(D-1), MoF, is leader of government business with ultimate responsibility for day-to-day operations with an approximate $300,000,000 operations and maintenance and capital budget. He is probably earning way less than $350,000, is he not?

    If a local were being paid $350,000, we would be breaking out the pitch forks. Crab-in-bucket mentality. We celebrate others success but not our own. In fact, we work hard at keeping our down. This is not alternative facts or fake news. It is raw, unvarnished and real. Who beks, beks.

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  5. Boo says:

    Grant or loan?

    If grant thanks a million FCO

    If loan who are the contractors and how were they selected.


    Which small man owns a VHF Radio consultancy, sales, and installation company and which small man owns and is competent in the necessary LIDAR and other highly technical equipment and expertise to complete the sea bed mapping project?

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