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By James Guken 

In a historic move, the people of Yangoru-Saussia District in the East Sepik Province celebrated the launch of the Womaiyen Market project. This market, upon completion, will be the first-ever 24-hour market in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the entire South Pacific Region, as recognized by UN Women.

Minister for International Trade and Investment & Yangoru-Saussia MP, Richard Maru, expressed his excitement, emphasizing that the Womaiyen Market would serve not only the local community but also travelers along the Sepik Highway and from neighboring provinces.

The market will boast essential facilities such as proper electricity and water supply, a police station for safety, a guest house, banks, ablution blocks, an office, and a car park. Minister Maru highlighted that the project would receive funding from the National Government, Provincial Government, and various partners to ensure its success.

The first phase of the project will focus on building a bore water supply system by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). This system will provide water to the market and every household in Womaiyen Village. Construction is set to begin next week and is expected to be completed within six months.

Simultaneously, design work for the market will commence, with input from representatives of Womaiyen Village. An Australian company will be engaged to ensure the market’s design meets world-class standards.

UN Women, a key partner in the project, will provide training on market management to ensure its sustainability and safety, particularly for women and girls. Minister Maru urged UN Women to initiate the training program promptly.

The National Government, through the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, has committed K1 million to the project, demonstrating its commitment. However, additional funding will be sought from donors, including Australia, China, and Japan.

Minister Maru appealed to the people of Womaiyen to take ownership of the project and ensure its success. He emphasized the importance of caring for the contractors and maintaining the market upon completion.

The Womaiyen Market project signifies a significant milestone in PNG’s development, promising economic opportunities and improved livelihoods for the local community and beyond.

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