By Sharlyne Eri – EMTV News, Lae
A group of widows who sell crafts for a living in Morobe Province say lack of proper craft markets is affecting their business. Spokesperson, Margaret Kelly, says often at times they are harassed by the public and at instances had some of their items snatched.
Margaret and the other vendors sell their crafts in front of a shop in Top Town during the weekdays. The spot has become their marketplace because Lae City lacks proper markets for such products. Luckily for them, Margaret is good friends with the owner of the shop and has been selling at the spot long before other women sellers.
Margaret was recently able to get the city council’s permission to operate under the widow’s group. The others have since joined her however, all share the same urge to sell at a proper place.
“Selling at a public place like this is not convenient because we are always arguing with public commuters and at times they steal our some of our items,” Margaret said.
The Tourism Promotion Authority Board Secretary, Colin Taembari, was in the province recently and said lack of proper craft markets is common in other provinces as well. He said the Tourism Sector received a huge budget this year, however, it was up to provincial authorities to choose which tourism products to venture into.
Margaret and her friends are hoping local authorities will consider venturing into arts and crafts as it is a way of making a living for them.
Mr Taembari said TPA has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Morobe Provincial Government, and establishing craft markets would eventuate if identified under the MOU.