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Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands

Agalega

​ General
The Economy
Infrastructure
Communications
History
 
Main Villages Vingt Cinq Village (North Island)
La Fourche Island
Administrative Area Ste. Rita Village (South Island)
Outstanding Services Meteo Station (Meteorological Services)
Police Station (Police Department) - North/South Island
Telecom Office (Mauritius Telecoms) - North Island
Primary school (Ministry of Education) - Jacques Le Chartier Govt School
Hospital (Ministry of Health)
Land Regions North Island - 12.5 kms long & 1.5 kms wide
South Island - 7 kms long & 4.5 kms wide
Both islands have a land area of 2,600 hectares
Climate
Hot & humid climate
Annual temperature average 26ºC with a minimum of 22.5ºC & a maximum of 30.6ºC.
April is the hottest month. During the mild winter period May to October, anti-cyclones in the region favour a moderately strong wind from an East - South East direction. This makes Agalega’s tropical climate relatively comfortable.
Highest Elevation Colline D’Emerez (North)
Lowest Elevation Sea level
Wildlife Mangrove swamps cover both islands. In contrast to the richness of marine life, few inland animals inhabit the islands. Ibis is a unique bird that is found there.
Administration Run by the Outer Islands Development Corporation (OIDC)
Court system Visiting Magistrate from Mauritius
Head of Department General Manager - OIDC
Head on Agalega Resident Manager
Population 300
Official language English
Spoken Language Creole
Dominating Religion Roman Catholic
 
 
Currency : Mauritian rupees
Goods Exported : Coconut Oil and other by-products
Agalega’s economy is based primarily on coconut exploitation. Agricultural diversification is being envisaged to reduce Agalega’s dependency on coconut.
 
Water :
No piped system exists on both islands.
Water for drinking and cooking purposes is collected mainly through run-offs from roof tops.
Water from other purposes is obtained from wells.
Sewerage :
No piped sewerage disposal.
Partly equipped with flush toilet facilities connected to soak pits.
Roads :
Made of coral and sand.
Electricity :
Electricity supply by diesel generators is provided to office premises and staff quarters for a limited time daily. OIDC is presently working on a project to supply electricity round the clock.
 
Air :
One landing strip made up of compacted coal and sand is found in North Island with a small terminal building.
Light aircrafts can land and take off.
Sea :
No harbour exists.
Ships, which visit Agalega for transportation of provisions, have to anchor in the high sea at some 500 metres from the jetty situated at St. James Anchorage, North Island.
Telecommunications :
Overseas Telecommunication facilities are provided by Mauritius Telecoms at North Island.
Education :
Pre-primary and Primary levels.
Facilities exist up to Standard VI in the "Jacques Le Chartier Government School", North Island. After successful completion of primary education, children are sent to Mauritius for secondary education.
Health :
Each island has a dispensary which is run by a Nursing Officer and a mid-wife.
Doctors from Mauritius tour the island on regular short missions.
 
The twin islands of Agalega might have been known to the Malays and to the Arabs. They might also have been perceived by the Portuguese sailors who scouted the Indian Ocean in the XVIth century. It might equally be true that, when in 1512 Don Pedro de Masceranhas visited the already known Archipelago of Mauritius and Bourbon and called them by the collective name of the Mascarenes, he also gave the names of Agalega and Ste. Marie (off the East coast of Madagascar) in honour of two of his ships, "Le Galega" and "Santa Maria".
Be that as it may, a school of thought now accepts that the islands were discovered and baptised in 1501 by Juan de Nova, who was a Galician employed by the Portuguese and who was nicknamed 'Jean Gallego' by his sailors.
An extract from "Les Nouvelles Annales de Voyage (Tome 38, page 88)" reads:
"L'Ile Galega , avec l'article A'Galega (La Galicienne), porte ce nom parce qu'elle fut decouverte en 1501 par Juan de Nova, galicien, au service du Portugal, qui commandait une flotte destinee pour les Indes. En revenant en Europe, ce meme navigateur decouvrit les iles de l'Ascension et Sainte Helene'. Sir Robert Scott, in his "Lumuria", however argues that Agalega was discovered in 1509 and was named Baixas da Gale or Galeass Bank because when Diego Lopos de Seqaiera came alongside the islands, he jocularly told his pilots that a "galeass" had foundered there joining itself to the banks and thus making them so long". Subsequent maps published showed Agalega as Gale, Galera, Galega and finally Agalega."

 

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