By Julie Badui Owa – EMTV News, Port Moresby
People who sell their produce at Lae Market told EMTV News yesterday (June 4) that they are happy about the improvements by the new management at the market.
They confirmed having access to toilets and clean water supply now, but said they have been charged with multiple fees for their produce by different officers at the market.
Paulus Teng, who sells sweet potatoes at the Lae market has been buying sweet potatoes (kaukau) in bags and reselling them for almost 10 years. Making K100 a day from the sales on busy days, Mr Teng said life has been tough for him at the market for the last 9 years.
“Getting into the market and securing a market spot has never been easy for me,” Mr Teng said.
The new management of the Lae Market came into effect on the May 22 this year, following recommendations by the 2017 Audit Report assigned by the Office of the Member for Lae. For the first time after four years, more than K50,000 was collected and banked last week. The new management was able to pay a fee of K10,000 to Water PNG to supply water after the water supply to the market was cut for two months.
The sellers, especially women who travel from other districts into Lae market to sell their produce said gate fees have changed from K3 to K5 under the new management.
Naomie Muntz, a farmer who grows and sell watermelons with her daughter said there should be better services provided suitable for them.