Premier Andrew Fahie has assured residents living on the territory’s sister islands that their days of being neglected and ignored are over.
The Premier made that statement during Monday’s contract-signing ceremony for design works to build a new Jost Van Dyke Primary School.
He said that under the previous administration, residents on the sister islands were constantly given false promises and treated like second-class citizens in comparison to those on the main island of Tortola.
“I want to come and say these things because Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, Anegada; the days of them being ignored, is gone. It cannot be that we’re in the same BVI and Tortola get the garbage truck. And when it (the truck) can barely move (disfunctional), they send it Virgin Gorda. And when it could crawl, you send it Anegada. And when it can’t move at all, you send it Jost Van Dyke. Those days are gone!”
Intention to treat all islands equally
The leader of government business said that during his tenure in office, he intends to treat all the sister islands similarly to how Tortola has been treated; ensuring that projects are undertaken and a number of long-existing issues are rectified.
“Since 2017, homes were to be repaired and built through the Housing Programme. None until now. Now we have six homes signed and if I’m not mistaken, [they’re] ready and just about to start the construction in different phases here in Jost Van Dyke,” he said.
He added: “Let us get into another area — the paving of the Dog Hole road. I remember when I came over on the boat with a good friend of mine. She came for the day and we went by Dog Hole road. I started to feel so bad, she was right in the car and that was just before COVID, she said: ‘Fahie, I going deliver?’ And that was just coming out of Dog Hole. Now we see the paving of the Dog Hole road.”
“And let’s not forget the road that’s going over the hill there now that for over 15 years persons couldn’t get over that back road and now it has been graded and opened with more work to do by the Minister of Transportation,” Fahie further stated.
Other projects being done
Premier Fahie said it was important to mention some of the works being done on the sister island of Jost Van Dyke since persons were using government’s silence to make it seem as though his administration was doing nothing for the residents.
“We promised the people of Jost Van Dyke that they would not be left out of the stimulus and we have made sure that as many businesses as possible have received stimulus. It couldn’t pay for all but it is the best we could have done at this time,” he said.
He added: “And we are working on the water problems. And while even working on the water problems, we gave out some money to the Minister for Transport to truck over water for those who didn’t have water.”
I understand the frustration
The Premier said the constant false promises and neglect over the years have resulted in residents exhibiting frustration but said his government will do all they can to tackle each problem one at a time.
“When you don’t get nothing for years, I can understand your frustration because you want everything now … But this is not Burger King, we have limited resources and trying to do more with the less that we have — that every island has,” he stated.
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