Agalega
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About Agalega
Geography
The atoll of Agalega is situated at around 1 000 km north of Mauritius and consists of two islands: the North Island and the South Island covering a total area of 2 600 hectares.
The atoll, which has a population of 300, is mainly planted with coconuts. The most important activity over a long period of time was to supply Mauritius with coconut oil and copra. The atoll was once known as La Perle des Iles à Huile.

Up to 1975, Agalega was managed by the private sector. After that, the atoll returned under Government administration and was administered by the Agalega Corporation under the Agalega Corporation Act. In 1982, the Agalega Corporation Act was repealed and replaced by the Outer Islands Development Corporation Act to include all outer islands within the State of Mauritius other than Rodrigues.

Agalega faces its own specific problems caused by such factors as smallness, remoteness, geographical location, frail ecosystems, lack of regular transport and communication, inadequate natural resources, limited fresh water supplies and heavy dependence on imports from Mauritius. Despite all these challenges, much progress has been made over the years especially in the housing sector. The housing project initiated in 1996 gave way to nice concrete dwellings. The house is rent-free, however a sum of Rs 150 is charged for maintenance.




Education
There are two nurseries and two pre-primary schools in Agalega. As regard primary schools, each island has one. After completing their primary education, students come to Mauritius for secondary education and they live with foster parents, relatives as well as in foyers. A Lower Secondary School run by Medco was set up in January 2008 and runs classes from Grades 7 to 9. A prevocational section has been set up.

At the beginning of the academic year the Corporation provides each student with uniforms, shoes, bags and books. A stipend of Rs 1 500 monthly is allocated to each of them to cater for their meals during school days.

Infrastructure
Water used come from rain water collected from the roofs of buildings and shallow wells. Since December 2005, electricity is provided to the three villages of Agalega on a 24-hour basis. The Outer Islands Development Corporation is considering reactivating the solar system which exists on the island. A cold-room for storage of goods is also operational since May 2017.
Telephone facilities were introduced only on North Island and at present, only nine telephone lines available. Arrangements are being made to extend the service to South Island as well as to improve Internet facilities.
POPULATION
300
External Communications
The islands are serviced four times yearly for the transport of goods and other stores materials. The 'Dornier' plane of the National Coast Guard lands at Agalega only for emergency cases. Top priority is being given for the resurfacing of the airstrip and the construction of a jetty for berthing facilities for unloading of cargo.



Economic Activities
The islands were monetised in July 2002. The MauBank has a branch in Agalega. The Corporation also runs two shops, one on each island, where the inhabitants get all their requirements.

The only resource available on the islands is coconut. With its 2 600 hectares of land, Agalega has around 20 000 standing coconut trees distributed over an area of 500 hectares or around 20% of the total surface area.

The Corporation is now engaging in a relatively new activity, the exploitation of sea cucumber. It is also carrying out, in collaboration with the University of Mauritius, a project on the exploitation of seaweeds.

Leisure
There are three Community Centres equipped with parabolic antenna which enable the inhabitants to receive MBC TV1, TV2 and TV3 as well as radio programmes. There is also a library on each of the islands.


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