By Staycey Yalo – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Malaoro vendors this morning arrived at the market in surprise as their tables and other market items including food were burnt by police to close the market.
National Capital District Commission who has given a two weeks notice to the vendors, prior to the closure, says the market lacks proper facilities such as toilets and rubbish disposal site.
However, the disappointed vendors say that they will remain at Malaro Market.
According to the vendors, the police had arrived at Malaoro Market very early in the morning and set alight their tables, bags, and food items.
Despite a two weeks notice given to the vendors by NCDC to find other market locations to sell their food items, the vendors, especially mothers who depend on the market to make ends meet, say that they will not move until NCDC and authorities provide a specific market for them.
The Malaoro Market is one of the oldest in the city with vendors who travel all the way from Central and Gulf Provinces to sell their produce.
However, the market has been criticised for the rubbish that is dumped towards the main road disrupting traffic, including the fact that there are also no proper facilities at the market.
Mr Lulu Ted, the Deputy City Manager, Community & Social Services at NCDC, stressed that the market has been a breeding ground for petty theft and other criminal activities over the years, causing major security concerns for the general public and the residents.
However, the mothers at the market have stated that vegetable vendors are innocent and the cause of all the criminal activities rests with the betel nut and cigarette vendors.
Nancy Warrey, a fish vendor at Malaoro Market says that if the betel nut is the issue, the authorities must put up a cop shop to address the issue and not chase innocent mothers.