After years of waiting, women market vendors from the Ra province now have access to a dormitory style of accommodation to assist them when they travel miles to sell their produce.
Minister for Primary Industries, Joketani Cokanasiga officially opened the overnight accommodation today and praised the resilience of women around the country who continue to work hard to support their families and communities.
“We were all affected by the disaster on the 31 of March 2012 as a result of heavy rain and tropical depression in the Western Division and it was even more difficult for affected people to cope, as they were still recovering from the severe floods in January,” said Cokanasiga.
“Selling your produce at a lower price or giving them away because you are not able to stay overnight to sell it yourselves will now be a thing of the past. You can now produce and also sell your produce to the extent desired and in the number of days required because you now have a place to stay.”
Attended by the Provincial Administrator of Ra, Government Heads of Department in Ra, members of the Vaileka Market Vendors Association and women market vendors, Cokanasiga said that he was pleased to represent the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing & Environment at the milestone opening ceremony of a very successful pilot initiative for Fiji.
“Congratulations to the women market vendors for setting a benchmark for the various United Nations initiatives for Fiji and also for creating history in the highest percentages of women recipients of the ‘early recovery from disaster’ program,” he added.
The Government acknowledged the UN Women Partners Improving Markets project and the complementary United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Millennium Market – One Market One Nation, which has brought in much needed resources to our newest town in Fiji.
The overnight accommodation complex was built at the cost of $60,000 by Government while the UN Women Organisation donated a total of $23,000 to fully furnish the complex.