A new transit lodge to be built in Port Moresby is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of those who rely on local markets to sell their produce.
The Australian High Commissioner, together with the local Members for Moresby South, Abau and Rigo officiated at the ground turning event for the new Rigo Transit Lodge.
The transit lodge will be built within the Koki Market premises and will provide safe and clean housing to those who travel to the nation’s capital from the Central Province to sell their goods.
The people of Central Province, especially those from Rigo and Abau have been travelling to and from Koki to sell their produce since pre-Independence. Since then, especially in the last 4-years, the market has seen much change and development.
Minister for Sports & National Events and Moresby South MP, Justin Tkatchenko, said the transit lodge will really assist especially the mothers and children who come to sell and end up sleeping under the benches to continue their sales the next day.
Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis, said the Australian Government wants to support local initiatives like this.
In addition to funding the transit lodge, the Australian Government will also work on a new road entrance and upgrade the bus shelter.
Minister for Public Service and Member for Abau, Sir Puka Temu, pledged K100,000 as Abau District’s support for the project.
Minister for Justice & Attorney General and Member for Rigo, Ano Pala, said the people of Rigo have been selling their goods at Koki for decades and the new infrastructure will set a new commercial climate that will hopefully benefit families and improve their livelihood.
Work on the 50 bed transit lodge will begin in two weeks and is expected to be completed mid-2017. It is being built at a cost of about AUD1.3 million, which is about K3.2 million.