NEWS

Long Wait To End Soon For Lomaiviti Vendors

We are so happy about it and we are looking forward to having this new market open: woman vendor
04 Mar 2022 14:40
Long Wait To End Soon For Lomaiviti Vendors
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum meets the women and children of Ovalau on February 28, 2022. Photo: DEPTFO News

Having to endure the rainy and windy weather conditions in their temporary market shelters every weekend will soon be a worry of the past for more than 300 women market vendors of Levuka Town.

For the vendors, the soon-to-be-constructed Levuka Market is an answer to their prayers.

This follows the groundbreaking ceremony of the $2.6million market on Monday by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The new Levuka Market is a two-storey building that would also have an accommodation space for the women and more than 300 selling stalls for the vendors.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had also promised them that they would not pay the first year of stall fees because the Government has it covered.

Some of the market vendors were women from the island of Moturiki who usually travel to Levuka on a fiber boat every Saturday morning and return to their island on the same night.

Daiana Tabilai of Nasesara Village on Moturiki Island said for years there was never any permanent structure to sell from.

“We have been shifting from one place to another within Levuka Town and when it is raining or windy we will really struggle because we sell from tents as temporary shelters,” she said.

“We usually travel in the very early hours of the morning because we cannot not come and sleep here on Friday night so we come early Saturday and leave on the same night.

“Now that we will be able to sleep here on Friday we are so happy about it and we are so looking forward to having this new market open as early as December.”

Australian High Commissioner to Fiji John Feakes in his remarks at the ceremony said the Australian Government had always supported the safety of women in the community and they would continue to do so.

He said he looked forward to returning to Levuka and witnessing the work that would be carried out on the new building.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Charlotte Darlow encouraged women vendors to remain resilient and strong.

She said the project was taking a step further in what she had at heart and that was gender equality.

The Attorney-General had also urged the women to look after their facility well when it is finally open for use.

 



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