SUNBIZ

Centrepoint Market Vendors Hope For A Better Market Facility

“Currently we don’t have washrooms or taps but there are commercial outlets nearby where we ask to use their washrooms,” vendor Kelera Liku said.
26 Sep 2019 16:50
Centrepoint Market  Vendors Hope For A Better Market Facility
Kelera Liku at Centrepoint Market in Laucala Beach on September 18, 2019.

Centrepoint Market vendors are hopeful the Nasinu Town Council will soon come to their rescue by putting up proper infrastructure.

This is because there are no washrooms and taps for vendors to have access to.

More than ten vendors have been operating there for more than ten years now. Fiji Sun believes that there were plans by Nasinu Town Council in the pipeline to build stalls similar to the Queens Highway roadside market stalls.

“Currently we don’t have washrooms or taps but there are commercial outlets nearby where we ask to use their washrooms,” vendor Kelera Liku said.

“We either go to Chicken Express or the arcade to relieve ourselves,” she said.

“Sometimes it is difficult and that is why we are hoping that the proper market be built for us with such facilities would be provided.

“The market is located in a good place, it is convenient and accessible; there is a demand for a market in this area.

“It is difficult especially when it rains under these makeshift structures.”

Rebuilding

Ms Liku, 49 had left Koro Island to come to Suva a few years ago to look after her uncle (mother’s brother) who was sick.

When her uncle died, she decided to stay back since there was nothing to go back to as her home was destroyed during Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

“We thought that we will go back to the village when my uncle died but we couldn’t because our house was destroyed by Cyclone Winston,” she said.

“Everything was destroyed at home but now we are in the process of rebuilding our home. Thanks to the assistance from the Government as they are  supplying us with materials but we need to look for someone to build our home.”

Ms Liku said she wanted to help her son who was the only breadwinner in the family.

“Before my uncle died, he had given me some money to start a business. Before then, we were already operating here for two months.

“I am from Kadavu and this market stall is owned by a man also from Kadavu. He has a business and we rent this table at $40 a week.

Fees

“I hope that one day we won’t be sitting here to sell. It would be good if the Government provides a proper market for us. Right now, we don’t pay anything to the Nasinu Town Council except the rubbish fees.

Ms Liku lives with her extended family of seven at the Maravu Street settlement near International School at Laucala Beach Estate.

Her extended family includes her husband, son, his wife (her daughter-in-law) their two children, her sister and the sister’s son.

Breadwinner

“My son was the only breadwinner, I then thought to help him to ease the burden. The market has been really helping us and it has really helped us come out of poverty.

“As a market vendor, we will come across good and bad days. There would be days where we get a good profit, sometimes our goods go bad but that never discourages me.

“Vudi, cassava and coconut are some of the things that are sold quickly here. There is some produce that takes time to sell.

“The price of the produce that takes time to sell always goes down as days go by.

“I always wake up early to go to the Suva Market to buy the produce from farmers. The prices of the produce I sell depends on the price I buy from. I always try to sell them at least between $1 and $2.

“The good thing about this location is that there are a lot of commercial outlets and a lot of activities within the vicinity.

“Being a market vendor has really helped us a lot. I help my son by paying the bills. He gets paid fortnightly so I try my best to help him in any way possible.

“In a week I can get a profit of $110 and in a month $300. I am trying to be part of the Microfinance. One of my friends is part of it and she told me about it. I have gone to the first training and it was a six-week training programme.

“After this training, then we would be able to get a loan. I want to loan to help me with my market  business and I am looking forward to it.”

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