The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011
By GABRIEL LAHOC
MOROBE women want their leaders to seriously address their plight at the Lae main market.
Most of the women make a living through subsistence farming and live in rural Morobe and the outskirts of Lae.
They said they had not been given priority and had been mistreated for more than two decades at the main market.
The Lae main market is one of the biggest in the country and is managed by the Lae city council and caters for Morobean farmers and villagers including sellers from the Highlands region.
The women said despite the market being almost half empty, leaders showed no concern and forced them to sell their garden produce out in the open while highlanders were accommodated in the main shelter.
They said 80% of the best spaces were in the sheltered area taken up by Highlanders.
“We come across from the seas and from the mountains into Lae to sell, but we are treated as if we are from another province or region, and this has been going on for far too long,” Yamo Wilo, a mother from the Bukawa in the Nawaeb district said.
They said that when they went to the highlands provinces to sell their produce, locals were given priority in their own markets.
“We have heartbreaking experiences where we were abused and threatened.
“It is not good because you can not sell your dry coconuts and taro in Hagen market. Yet the authorities allow them to take up the best space at Lae market,” Yawing John from Markham said.