Gaiwata slams street stalls

Lae News, Normal

The National, Wednesday 01st Febuary 2012

MOROBE deputy governor Morokoi Gaiwata and the provincial government support the Lae city council’s decision to stop mothers from street vending.
“The provincial government and my office fully oppose the mothers selling on the street although we sympathise with women,” Gaiwata said.
 “If we keep allowing residential areas and street selling in the city’s vicinity, especially in Top Town, Eriku and main market areas, we will encourage street vending to sprout again.
“We are against residential street markets.”
He blamed the government for failing to clearly identify Informal Sector Act guidelines, powers, roles, responsibilities that empowered provincial governments and city councils from implementing the policy.
“Informal sector supports self-employment but we never thought of health, hygiene, law and order issues it creates.”
He said the provincial government had allocated K1 million in this year’s budget to empower the Lae city policing unit and the Menyamya-Morobe security service to enforce city cleanliness and stop street vending and pickpockets from harassing people.
City authority health and sanitation manager Jonathan Ipang said as a responsible third level government agent they complied with Section 3 of the Informal Sector Act, the Public Health Act 226, Food and Sanitation Act of 1991 and Trading Act Chapter 324.
“The general public needs to understand the existence of the declaration of state of emergency over cholera in Lae city and Morobe Province in 2010 and which Health and HIV-AIDS Minister Jamie Maxtone-Graham has yet to lift,” he said.
He said the city authority planned to designate specific locations for the informal sector but where vendors would have to have a licence to sell their goods.
 “Street and residential selling creates health hazard without taking into consideration the cleanliness of city. It fosters law and order problems into escalating when sellers move around.”
The lawyer representing mothers said the city authority had issued an internal order and ‘not a court order’.
He said the matter was before the Lae district court and would be heard by magistrate Posain Poloh tomorrow.