Is K50 too much for market vendors at Koki fish market?
That question has been the debate for the week on social media. Koki Fish Market Manager, Gellong Amua, today speaking to EMTV news to justify the market management’s decision.
Amua says to maintain the market that is perched over the sea and prone to corrosion, costs money. Stating that the market doesn’t clean itself.
It’s a hot spot in Port Moresby for fresh seafood and that’s probably why Port Moresby residents have taken to social media to call foul play over a notice posted by the Market Management to charge vendors K50.
Dada Kairi a supervisor at the Koki fish market explains that K50 is max amount while charges start at K10, K20, K30 and Finally K50 for a full esky of sea food.
“Fishermen from the sea usually bring strings of fish that we charge K20m while those from further Central Villages pay bring in the seafood packed in eskies, the fully packed one goes for K50 and a half filled goes for K20.”
“We don’t turn away anyone, we usually agree that once they sell their products the fee can be paid, that understanding works as the Koki fish Market has customers come in and out until 8pm sometimes 9pm at night, depending on vendors who continue to sell on until the fish is all bought”.
Kairi also stating that unlike other markets because the facilities provide power and security, the prices go up at night, unlike other markets where you would find the prices being cut to sell produce fast.
This cost covers the table, use of the market’s fresh water supply; and the toilet facilities.
Vendor Inai Vagi who sells fresh prawns caught from Manumanu along with fish, says he doesn’t pay the fee as his prawns sell out fast an In one day he says he could make up to a K1000.
“If I come in early with a good amount of prawns, I can make k1000 plus.”
But for some vendors the K50 is too much, most of them speaking off camera, and saying the cost adds to the fees they pay from catching the fish; and the costs of bringing it into Port MORESBY to sell, and their return trip home.
The Market Manager Gelong Amua says the market doesn’t clean itself, and there are bills to be paid. Unlike other markets they have limited space, and vendors bring in the catch if the sea is kind to them.
“We pay water bills after Eda Ranu installed a water meter, that has to be paid to allow the cleaners to clean through the day to make the market family friendly.”
“We also pay Power bills, the electricity allows vendors to market well into the night, but our biggest concern is the corrosion on the facility that needs to maintained so the market does not fall into the sea.”
All market security personnel and cleaners are paid K800 a month, and the facilities need to be maintained.
Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko, in a statement sent to EMTV, said the fish market is a state-of-the-art facility and needs to be maintained.
“The Koki Fish Market is one of the best Markets in Port Moresby. And the reason why it is the best is because it’s a Safe, Clean and well Maintain Market…… And to keep it to this level that is expected by the Public and the Vendors we need sufficient funds to operate and maintain it on a daily basis.”
By Adelaide Sirox Kari, EMTV News, Port Moresby