BY MAVIS N PODOKOLO
TIMES are hard, and so are Job opportunities in Honiara and other urban centres around the country.
For many women, the Honiara Central Market has been a source of income during these difficult times- as the country grapples with the economic effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
And living in an urban setting, an increasing number of women in Honiara have ventured into selling of second-hand clothes at the Market.
Some of these women have had steady jobs pre-covid. The closure of international borders meant they find themselves unemployed and unable to support their families.
The sale of clothes had taken up nearly a quarter of the Central Market space.
President to Honiara Vendors Association Moreen Sariki said the clothing sector has helped a lot of women earn money to meet their day-to-day needs.
Sariki said the sad thing is that marketing of clothes is not specified in the Honiara City Council Market ordinance, meaning it is not a secured business activity.
She stressed that when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic vendor have felt the pressure, especially in terms of cash flow.
“Vendors who engaged in selling of wears at the market have felt the impact of this deadly virus.
“If lucky a cloth vendor can earn SBD$300 a day with the lowest earning around SBD$70.
“Compared to pre-COVID days our vendors earned around SBD$3000 and above from the sale of clothes,” Sariki said.
She adds that apart from the clothing sector, others inside the market like those selling vegetables are also affected, there is no exception
Jocelyn Kwalote’e a mother of seven and cloth vendor said during pre-COVID days the sale of their hand made fabrics generated good money to meet family needs and to keep their small money generating activity operational.
“We are badly affected during this COVID-19 pandemic because we depend very much on tourists to buy our local made products.
“We now experience that in one day only one cloth would be sold out, to us women it really breaks our heart to encounter such a difficult time brought about by this pandemic.
“I hope and prayer the pandemic will be over soon. This is because we depend very much on this money-making activity for our daily survival, “Mrs Kwalote’e said.