BY NED GAGAHE
HONIARA City Council (HCC) will open a new betel nut market at Gegema in January next year.
This is according to HCC Market Manager Mr Nelson Sakui.
Sakui told journalists this when he was asked about the council’s plan for a new vendors market in the city following its decision to ban betel nut selling at the newly upgraded Kukum Market.
Sakui said HCC has already chosen the site at Gegema between Vara Creek and Marble Street.
“This site is not really a permanent place, but at least we provide venue for our betel nut vendors since we will be working on closing all illegal vendors areas in the city.
“So, it is expected that by January 2023 the market should be fully operational.
“Consultations has been ongoing throughout the year; HCC has received some objections from certain residents but it’s HCC land.
“There are advantages to that for the residents in terms of economics.
“They will hugely benefit out of it. Land clearance has already commenced except for back-filling of the site which is expected to commence soon,” Sakui said.
Sakui also clarified unofficial reports that a site at the Kukum seafront was recently cleared to make way for a betel nut market.
Responding to that Sakui said permission was sought from the HCC to allow betel nut vendors but since the land belongs to a private business owner, the council cannot issue vendor licence to private business owners to run vending on their land.