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Empowering Fijians Key: PM

Five women who will soon be among 500 market vendors with a stall of their own in the new market complex in Laqere yesterday told of their joy. Prime Minister
01 Aug 2017 11:00
Empowering Fijians Key: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama pours the first cement to lay the foundation of the Laqere market in Nasinu on July 31, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Five women who will soon be among 500 market vendors with a stall of their own in the new market complex in Laqere yesterday told of their joy.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama officiated at the ground breaking of the state-of-the-art $4.3million market complex.

Laqere market vendors stand proud during the laying of the new market foundation on July 31, 2017. From left, Raj Mani, Pushpa Wati, Radha Chand, Susan Nirmala and Daya Wat. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Laqere market vendors stand proud during the laying of the new market foundation on July 31, 2017.
From left, Raj Mani, Pushpa Wati, Radha Chand, Susan Nirmala and Daya Wat.
Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Among those overjoyed with the announcement were Raj Mani, 60, Pushpa Wati, 52, Daya Wati, 58, Susan Nirmala, 42 and Radha Chand 28. All make a living from selling vegetables at different locations in the Nasinu corridor.

Mrs Wati and Mrs Mani are vendors at the Makoi Market but given the easy accessibility to the new location, they are eager to make a move as soon as the complex is ready in less than 10 months.

Ms Chand has been selling on roadsides since she was a child. When she was 5-years-old, she assisted her grandparents and now she earns a living for her and her family by selling at Laqere.

“When it rained, we would end up getting wet but still had to sell vegetables and other crops. This new marketplace will end that.

“We will be able to sell in a safe and clean place,” Ms Chand said.

Mrs Mani has been a vendor for close to 40 years. Much of that time was spent selling on roadsides.

“The current market in Makoi does not attract a lot of people. This place will be different. I am looking forward to getting myself a stall here,” she said.

Looking after her disabled husband is Ms Nirmala. She currently buys vegetables from middlemen and sells them around the Nasinu area.

“Some days I walk long hours selling the vegetables. I hope to get a stall here and sell in a proper environment,” Ms Nirmala said.

Selling in Muanikoso is Mrs Wati. She also intends to make a move to the new market.

The 58-year-old widow looks after a daughter she and her late husband had taken in. The child who is blind in one eye after an accident is all she has and Mrs Wati wants to give her a good upbringing.

The five women attended the ground breaking ceremony- such was their excitement at the idea of having a good marketplace to sell from.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (front/middle) with the Minister for Local Government Parveen Bala (right) and Assistant Minister For Local Government Lorna Eden at the new Laqere Market site on July 31, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (front/middle) with the Minister for Local Government Parveen Bala (right) and Assistant Minister For Local Government Lorna Eden at the new Laqere Market site on July 31, 2017. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

They are grateful to Mr Bainimarama and the FijiFirst Government for the new market initiative.

The new market will be in Laqere, off Ratu Dovi Road and was designed by Ashok Balgovind and Associates.

An artist impression of the planned Laqere Market.

An artist impression of the planned Laqere Market.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

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