Image: The organic garden food from Gobadik and Nadzab villages unloading food to sell at the market
With no police posted at Lae’s Buimo Road, community members are tackling safety issues by themselves.
The initiative was set eight months ago.
This is to have market vendors from outlying villages every Sunday morning sell their garden produce, safe from abuse by youth and other community members in the area.
It’s 7am ad we are at the Buimo Road morning market where garden produce is being unloaded the market along the roadside.
The bustle starts as organic food is being sold at cheap prices.
The suburbs residents are looking at items to make up teir famili’s meals for the rest od the week.
” We spend K2 to make the trip to main market and return. Tah K2 we can spend on a bunch of leafy vegetables and a hand of cooking bananas,” said Mary Mimigari, a resident of the suburb.
This initiative was an adhoc decision made seven months ago by families living along this stretch of road. This was to help the mothers who were facing harassment from drunks and other individuals.
” We saw how they were being treated; they would have their bilums of food snatched from them, and they would pay doubled amounts of the market service fees from two sets of councillors, claiming to manage the area,” said Ward One Women’s representative, Grace Kapinias.
The vendors come from villages on the outskirts of the city.
Vendors say access has now allowed food to be sold as demand increases.
“Ino mipla ol mama tasol long Gobadik i kam, ol mama tu long Nadzab tu i kam. Mipla salim banana na pitpit na ol narapla gutpla kaikai na mipla tok tenk yu long ol lain long hia husait larim mipla kam salim kaikai [ We are a group of mothers from different villages, Gobadik and Nadzab and we are grateful for them to let us come, and sell our produce here. We sell nothing but healthy food.],” said Ambek Robin, a vendor from Gobadik village.
” Mipla hamamas long kam salim kaikai blong mipla long hia [ We are grateful to come sell our heathy food here],” Nenovi Sawa, a vendor from the surrounding villages in the Nadzab area.
The community is also taking the responsibility by cleaning the stretch of road.
“We are aware of safety issues of speeding vehicles and the general upkeep of this area. At present we do not collect market fees to clean the area and we do not intend to. They bring healthy, organic food to sell and it is the least that we can do,” Shilart Silau.