Chewing and selling betel in public places illegal

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BY TANNY.E.VAHI.

“Unlike those that are employed, we street venders too are struggling to meet the needs and demands of our families and for our daily survival.” This was the sentiment raised by a betel vendor in the Central Business District (CBD) of Honiara.

Almost every day Honiara city law enforcement officers will do their rounds to check for those selling betel nut illegally in the CBD of Honiara and most times, the venders will escape from the clutches of the law enforcement officers.

This has now become a common occurrence in the main CBD of Honiara.

However speaking to Island Sun, a betel nut vendor said he totally disagrees with the banning of the sale of betel nut and that there should be leniency on the restriction on the selling of betel nuts along the streets, provided there are proper bins in place.

He said unlike those that are employed, street venders too are struggling to meet the needs and demands of their families and daily survival.

“Not every parent is employed. It is hard for one person or a nuclear family or even two or three families to marshal the money, labour, or land for business on any but a very small scale.

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“Like any other businesses, selling of betel nut along the street is one way of fast income generating product for us.’’ he said.

He further stressed that, they (betel nut venders) though do the activity, understand and are aware of the Litter Ordinance that outlines the duty of each business houses or individuals, who are must provide litter receptacles (rubbish bins) for the properties for the waste collection.

“It is not us; it is the behaviour of the consumers that cause lots of glitches to our environment. There are receptacles, to throw or spit our wastes, however public tend to ignore them and as what, we are the ones to be blamed and whilst, it is such behaviours that should be looked and strict with,” he said.

In the meantime, according to the Market Ordinance under Honiara city council Act, no person or individual is allowed to run a private market unless he/she has prior written permission from Council.

The councils also wish to further prompt the general public that chewing and selling of betel nuts in public places such as bus stops, public transport systems, government offices, schools, medical centres and other places that involve public gathering with the city is prohibited.

No person or individual is allowed to run a private market unless he/she has prior written permission from the Council.

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