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Agalega Islands
Geography
Agalega Islands map-en.svg
Location Indian Ocean
Coordinates 10°25′S 56°35′E / 10.417°S 56.583°E / -10.417; 56.583
Total islands 2
Area 24 km²
Country
Mauritius
dependency Agalega
Largest city Vingt Cinq
Demographics
Population 289 (as of 2000)
Ethnic groups Creole

The Agalega Islands are two islands in the Indian Ocean, lying 1,100 km (700 miles) north of Mauritius at 10°25′S 56°35′E / 10.417°S 56.583°E / -10.417; 56.583. The islands, governed by Mauritius, have a total area of 24 km² (North Island 14.3 km² and South Island 9.7 km²). The official figure of 70 km² appears too high when compared with data from satellite images.

The North Island is home to the islands' airstrip and the capital of Vingt Cinq and village of La Fourche, while the South Island has the village of Sainte Rita.

The islands are known for their coconuts, the production of which is the main industry, and for the Agalega Island Day Gecko. At one time, no coinage circulated on the islands; all payment was by government-issued vouchers and debited directly from the inhabitants' salaries.

Contents

History

Like other Mascarene islands, it may be that it was known to Arab and Malay sailors, but no written records that confirm these claims have been found so far.

There are three different explanations for the name Agalega:

One hypothesis has it that the Portuguese explorer Don Pedro de Masceranhas named Agalega and the island of Sainte Marie (off the east coast of Madagascar) in honor of his two sailboats, the "Galega" and the "Santa Maria" in 1512, when he discovered Mauritius and Réunion Island.

The second, most probable explanation relates to the Galician explorer João da Nova, who worked for the Portuguese. He was known by his sailors under the nickname Jean Gallego (well documented in The Annals Travel News (Volume 38, page 88). It is written (where?) that this João da Nova discovered these islands in 1501. Agalega, written in Galician "a galega", means "the Galician" (feminine).

The third theory of the two islands, is the Portuguese navigator Diogo Lopes de Sequeira. Sir Robert Scott explained in his book that this browser Lumuria Agalega discovered in 1509 and named Baixas da Gale or Galeass Bank, signifying a Gale force winds of 8 in English. The name refers, ironically, to the formation of a gust of wind that would have modeled the coasts of both islands. Following the discovery, maps of the region represented the islands as Gale, Galera, Galega and finally Agalega.

Mr. de Rosemond founded the first settlement of the island. Upon his arrival in August 1808 he discovered the bodies of two castaways and a bottle containing notes written by one of them, the privateer Robert Dufour. The only mountain on the island, Mountain Emmer (or hill), and derives its name from the tragic adventure of the second wrecked, a Mauritian, Emmer of Adelaide. According bases Memoires and discoveries Auguste le Duc, one might conclude that the crew would have been the first real occupants of the island from 1806 to 1808.

Economic development, infrastructural and policy of the island is off to the arrival of August the Duke in 1827, French director sent by Mr. Barber to deal with its production of coconut oil and copra. Also present, historical relics dating from 1827 to 1846, makes hands of slaves: The village Twenty-Five (because of the 25 lashes that were slaves rebels), The Slave Dungeons, The Mill Oil, Cemetery Blacks, Whites Cemetery among others. Augustus, Duke began even building a bridge between the two islands, which will be quickly swept by the forces of nature.

The Catholic Church does not penetrate 1897 that the first missionary, Father Victor Malaval, sj. An improvised chapel was built on the South Island.

The origin of inhabitants has been highly influenced by the political situation in the world in the nineteenth century (Mauritius, which goes English in 1810, the abolition of the slave trade, abolition of slavery in 1835, 'Cool ). The Malagasy slaves origins, Madras in India, slaves freed from négrières ship or warehouse slaves Comoros.

Legends such as "White Horse carriage" and "Princess Malagasy" buried on the island or the coded language of "Madam langaz Seret" followed an oral tradition since the time of slaves. This language is a mixture of French and Mauritian Creole where every syllable is doubled with the first consonants replaced by the "g" (eg "French" becomes "frangrançaisgais"). The origin and purpose of this language remains unclear.

Today, the population is around 300 people (Agaléens) who speak Creole and Catholicism is dominant.

Geography

North Island is 12.5 km long and 1.5 km wide while South Island is 7 km long and 4.5 kilometers wide. The total area of both islands would be 26 km². The soil is likely coral. The culmination is at the top of the hill Emmer on the island in the north. The climate is hot and humid and the average annual temperature is 26 °C, ranging from a minimum of 22.5 °C and a maximum of 30.6 °C. April is the hottest month of the year. The tropical climate is conducive to the development of mangrove and coconut trees that cover the two islets. There are about 300 people who live on the archipelago

Economy

Agalega is managed by a company of the State of Mauritius, the Outer Island Development Company (Development Company of remote islands), IDOC. The company delegate a Resident Manager, a kind of steward, who is the supreme authority on the two islets. The economy of the archipelago is mainly based on the exploitation of coconut oil.

Infrastructures

The homes are the main villages of Twenty-Five and The Forks on the North Island and St. Rita on the South Island. The road connecting the different localities is sandy and coral. The North Island is home to an airstrip, government primary school "Jacques Le Chartier, the police, the weather station, the central office telecommunications (Mauritius Telecom) and the service health. There is no distribution network running water. Drinking water comes from rainwater collected by gutters. Water for other uses comes from wells. Electricity is supplied by generators running on diesel and the supply is limited to certain hours. The company that manages the remote islands such qu'Agaléga and St Brandon is working on a project to ensure power supply (connection submarine) of these islands.

Agalega is connected to Mauritius by air and sea. The airstrip on the island in the north allows takeoff and landing of small aircraft. There is no functional port on the islands but only a pier at St James Anchorage on the island's north. Vessels of the Mauritius Shipping Corporation (the Pride Mauritius and the Mauritius Trochetia) cast anchor about 500 meters from this place, in the deep sea during refueling.

The health service is provided by a health officer and a midwife. Doctors from Mauritius made short tours throughout the year. The Agaléens also receive a visit from a magistrate during the year.

For education, young people are the primary there and then continue their education in secondary schools in Mauritius.

Indian lease

In early December 2006, the Indian newspaper, the Times of India, carried a series of reports that Mauritius had suggested transferring the Agalegas to India on a long lease in order to develop tourist infrastructure,[1][2][3][4]

Given the facts of Mauritian politics, built around balancing the various ethnic communities, such as the Francophone Creoles and the Indo-Mauritians, Creoles objected to and denied this suggestion [5].

In an interview granted to the Times of India, the Mauritian Deputy Premier, Xavier-Luc Duval, an ethnic Creole himself, denied that there was any move by the Mauritian government to cede or lease the islands to India [6].

References

External links

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