Partnership for cleaner, healthier marketplace


Honiara City Market Vendors Association members participating in the clean-up campaign. Photo: UN Women/Sharon Tohaimae


Honiara, Solomon Islands – Notice anything different at the Central Market lately? Thanks to a joint effort between the Honiara City Council and the Honiara Central Market Vendors Association, market vendors are now enjoying a cleaner and a healthy working environment as a result of the facelift that the market has received as part of the refurbishment work, supported by UN Women Markets for Change Project to the Honiara City Council (HCC).

Honiara City Council Market Management and Works Division spearheaded a massive clean-up campaign in the last few weeks, including repainting of the central market facility. The Council and vendors continuously strive to keep the market environment clean, however this was the first clean-up to be enhanced by the supply of a new long reach high-pressure hose, hardware cleaning equipment, paint and painting equipment for work at the market.

“We have built a good relationship with the Market Management Staff and we’ve supported them during general clean-ups to ensure that the market place is clean, safe and healthy for the market vendors,” Moreen Sariki, Honiara Market Vendors Association representative commended.

“HCC has really benefited tremendously from the Markets for Change Project and we would like to thank the Australian Government for the funding support through UN Women,” said Eddie Gaza, HCC Works Manager and Acting (Ag) Market Manager for Honiara Central Market.

Honiara City Council Staff repainting the marketplace. Photo: UN Women/Sharon Tohaimae

He further commented that “The project uses a collaborative and consultative approach with us and the markets vendors - we are impressed. We’ve received waste management equipment, seven water tanks and paint that now we’ve repainted the marketplace with, trainings, and continuous technical support to progress the infrastructure work. ”Kristy Nowland, Solomon Islands’ Markets For Change Project Manager commended the Honiara City Council on their collaborative approach to make improvements in the market.

“The refurbishment plans have been developed on the basis of consultations between market vendors and the Honiara City Council,” she said. “It is an inclusive and smart approach - Honiara Central Market Vendor Association members are there at the market every day and they play a vital role as their voice and contributions assist the council to strategize, prioritise and make informed decisions about the marketplace.”

“This means more market vendor association members – mostly women – are directly involved in making decisions with market management.”

Member of Honiara City Market Vendors Association cleaning the market using the Pressure Pump. Photo: UN Women/Sharon Tohaimae

Markets for Change (M4C) is a multi-year, multi-country initiative that aims to make marketplaces safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The project is principally funded by the Australian Government; since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is a project partner. UN Women is working in partnership with HCC, Malaita and Western Provincial Governments, as well as market vendors and associations in Honiara Central Market, Auki and Gizo markets.


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Media enquiries should be directed to:

Sharon Tohaimae, Communications and Monitoring  and Evaluation Officer
Markets for Change, Vanuatu, UN Women
Phone: (+677) 22463 | Email:


UN Women’s Markets for Change (M4C) project is an eight-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, M4C is principally funded by the Australian Government, and since 2018 the project partnership has expanded to include funding support from the Government of Canada. UNDP is a project partner.

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.