Security, hygiene and disability friendly facilities for Auki Market
Date: Monday, February 19, 2018
Auki, Solomon Islands — Security fencing and increasing access to facilities for people with disabilities will be priorities for Auki Market's revamp following requests from market management, vendors and others who use the marketplace.
The recommendations are from the first formal Auki Market Infrastructure Task Force Meeting, held 9 February, that brought together representatives from Auki Market Vendor Association, Malaita Provincial Government, UN Women's Markets for Change (M4C) team, and other market partners.
"I am happy to see the level of consultation that has taken place between the Malaita Provincial Government's Market Management and the market vendors," said Hon. Peter Ramohia, Malaita Province Premier.
"This consultation allows us to better understand the needs of the vendors in the market and prioritise work that promotes a safe, hygienic and inclusive environment for all," Mr. Ramohia said.
Construction works for the joint-project are being co-financed by the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG) and UN Women's M4C project, which is principally funded by the Australian Government. For the project, MPG leads procurement and management of works, while UN Women is supporting the technical, financial and project management aspects.
Markets for Change (M4C) Project Manager for Solomon Islands, Kristy Nowland, said the Task Force Meeting has ensured that partners have the chance to come together and discuss and decide on what is most important during these infrastructure refurbishment works.
"Partners want to focus repair and construction efforts on installing perimeter fencing and storage for better security, repairing water and drainage for improved hygiene, increasing access for elderly people and people with a disability, and improving the fish vending area," Ms Nowland said.
"These recommendations from marketplace vendors and managers - those who know their markets best - are critical to best inform the market's priority repairs, maintenance and installation of minor works," she said.
The Auki Market infrastructure works and repairs will be carried out in line with the Solomon Islands Government procurement requirements in quarters two and three of 2018.
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UN Women's Markets for Change project: UN Women's Markets for Change (M4C) project is a key component of its Women's Economic Empowerment programme. M4C is a six-year, multi-country initiative that aims to ensure marketplaces in rural and urban areas of Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. A UN Women project, Markets for Change is implemented in partnership with UNDP and principally funded by the Australian Government.
Between 75-90 per cent of vendors working at Pacific marketplaces are women and their earnings often make up a significant portion of the incomes of many poor households. Despite this, women are often excluded from market governance and decision-making. M4C works with stakeholders, service providers and the market vendors themselves to: build and support inclusive, effective and representative advocacy groups; deliver appropriate services, training and interventions; ensure women's voices are heard and taken into account at the decision-making level; and to improve physical infrastructure and operating systems.
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