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Refurbished Market Accommodation Ends Challenges

“Our request is the women vendors treat that as your home. Look after it well because that is your space and take care of the facility and it is only for women."
23 Aug 2022 15:18
Refurbished Market Accommodation Ends Challenges
The refurbished Ba Women’s accommodation just beside the Ba Municipal Market. Photo: Salote Qalubau Inset: Merewai Ratoto

Merewai Ratoto, 69, said she remembers having to sleep in the corridors of the Ba Municipal Market just to sell her produce.

Ms Ratoto praised Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and relevant stakeholders, for opening the refurbished the women’s accommodation located at the Ba Multipurpose Bure, yesterday.

The project was a collaborative effort between the Market for Change programme partners and the respective governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UN Women, UNDP and the Fijian government.

 

Ms Ratoto said she and other women travelling from Tabalei, Magodro, Ba, would pay a carrier fare of $15 per head which amounted to close to $100 as there is no bus in the area.

“Some days we have a good sale while some days we don’t. If we earn $30 or $90, it helps our family and helps us as well in the market and I sleep in the bure for $2 and it been a couple of years that I’ve been sleeping in this bure,” she said.

“I am thankful that the accommodation was opened today, it helped me a lot, helped my family, saves money, I can go to the market then come back and sleep in the accommodation.”

 

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar commended Ms Ratoto for her resilience.

“Our request is the women vendors treat that as your home. Look after it well because that is your space and take care of the facility and it is only for women.”

So, we cannot change it to something again and it’s only for women and we have to make sure that only women use it,” she said.

She said out of 525 Ba market vendors, 250 of them were a woman.

 

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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