Vendors in Madang protest cooked food ban

National, Normal


MORE than 100 women in Madang staged a protest march to the cholera task force command centre on Tuesday to express their grievances over the current ban on open air sale of food.
They demanded that the ban be lifted because it was adversely affecting their livelihood, having to supplement their family income to pay for food and school fees.
The ban was imposed in September after the declaration of cholera outbreak in the province, outlawing the sale of cooked food and betelnut in public places.
The command centre’s coordinator of the clinical team, Dr Sibauk Bieb, told the protesting women that the ban would remain because too many lives were at risk.
Dr Bieb said the number of cholera patients treated had increased to 535 as of yesterday, all the more reason to continue the ban on roadsides sale of cooked food.
He said they had done commendable work and would not jeopardise it at the expense of a few disgruntled vendors.
Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet, who accepted a petition from the women, said he did not have the power to lift health emergency decisions, adding that what measures were in place were for the good of the province as a whole.