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EDITORIAL: A Day To Remember For Micro-Entrepreneurs Of Vakabalea In Deuba

EDITORIAL: A Day To Remember For Micro-Entrepreneurs  Of Vakabalea  In Deuba
June 01
11:00 2018

What a relief for micro-entrepreneurs at Vak­abalea, Deuba. Finally, they have clean and safe spaces to sell their products. For years they have been left on their own to build whatever structure that suited their budget.

For the most part, the roadside vendor stalls we en­counter along the Kings and Queens Road can be an eyesore. But, they are vital to the livelihood of fami­lies, communities and economy. Though small, these micro entrepreneurs work hard to earn a living. Often they are open to the elements – rain, hail and shine. One of the recipients of the semi-permanent stalls, Adi Kelera Vudiniabola, shared about how they were often left traumatised and stressed when a natural disaster was on its way.

How would they get back on their feet? The cost of materials to either repair or reconstruct the stall.

It’s like a continuous cycle that never ends.

Thanks to the foresight and initiative of Govern­ment, micro-entrepreneurs who sell along the Vaka­balea roadside now sell from new, clean and attrac­tive stalls.

In fact, they are built to withstand up to category-5 cyclone conditions – now a mandatory requirement as Government not only walks the talk but imple­ment adaptation initiatives to the realities of climate change.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, who is also the President of COP23, said Fijians deserve in­frastructure and assistant that can be relied upon, always, even in times of severe weather.

Called the ‘Standardised Roadside Stalls Pilot Pro­ject’, the Vakabalea micro-entrepreneurs are the first in Fiji to use 20 semi-permanent stalls and 10 port­able vendor stalls.

The programme is expected to grow and more mi­cro-entrepreneurs will benefit.

There are two types of stalls under the programme: semi-permanent and portable.

n The portable stalls will be given to entrepreneurs who only sell produce a few days a week. The stalls can be packed and rolled up from homes to the road­side.

n The semi-permanent stalls will be set-up in prime locations on the roadside for entrepreneurs who sell their produce on a daily basis. They are basically permanent structures but can be removed if there is a road development or in cases of extreme weather.

n The stalls are being given free of charge, but un­der a lease agreement between the micro entrepre­neurs and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tour­ism.

This is the way forward for Fiji. Creating and build­ing inclusive platforms for Fijians. A move that will boost micro and budding entrepreneurs.



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