Papua New Guinea
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Vendor: Rainbow needs proper market

Mothers from the Rainbow suburb in Port Moresby say they need a proper market to sell their fresh produce.

The suburb is home to thousands of residents and various business establishments, with its own schools and health facilities, but is left without a proper market.

Spokeswoman Nelly Lasi said that a market will meet the immediate needs of the people of Rainbow.

“Having our own market is what we all desire, and deserve.

As vendors, we need proper spaces to sit down and sell our food and items, our customers also need their market to be clean, healthy and sanitary,” she said.

“Rainbow is a thriving community, with a lot of business houses moving in to set up their offices here.

Considering the rapid development of our suburb, I think we need such basic infrastructure to sustain our growing population.

“We are selling food to thousands that live within this area, all the way up to Nautana and UPNG. We cannot continue selling food beside footpaths and the dusty roadsides because this is a very unhealthy practice.”

A young child holds up an umbrella against the strong winds while his mother sells fresh food at the makeshift roadside market. Pictures: THEOPHILES SINGH.

Mrs Lasi said that the residents buy food from the makeshift markets, and the vendors also continue to sell there mainly because they do not have a choice.

“We do not have a choice because this is out of our control. They have a need to have access to these garden foods, and we also have a need to earn our living by selling to them,” she said.

“Most times we face harassment from the authorities which costs us our entire savings. This is just an unfair and unjust treatment of our grassroots people, who are just earning their living the right way.

“I cannot say much about betelnut vendors because that is a completely different thing, however most times we are caught between the cross fire and we suffer the costs.”

She said that informal markets sustain households, and households are made up of mainly children, which is why it is important to consider the implications destroying food market tables will have on families.