Home Development Honiara Central Market Redevelopment Underway

Honiara Central Market Redevelopment Underway

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Australian High Commissioner Rod Hilton visited the Honiara Central Market to mark the start of construction of the market’s redevelopment. Photo credit @ Australian High Commission Solomon Islands

AUSTRALIA’S High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Mr Rod Hilton, says the expansion of Honiara Central Market will create a better market experience for everyone, with undercover protection and market benches for 100 vendors.

Mr Hilton visited the market today to meet vendors and local contractor Tropic Group Builders, who today commenced demolition works of the western end of the market.

“Australia is excited to provide an improved experience for Honiara’s main marketplace, for the public and for vendors earning a vital income for their family,” Mr Hilton said.

“I’m especially delighted to meet the team of local workers now on site. Building high quality infrastructure with local expertise creates local jobs and is a key focus for Australia’s partnership with Solomon Islands.”

Construction of the western extension is expected to be completed in June, with the market remaining open for fresh produce such as fish, fruit and vegetables.

Market Manager, Nelson Sakui, said he would be working closely with the contractor so that disruptions to the market would be kept to a minimum – with some works taking place after hours to minimise noise, dust and inconvenience.

“As this is Honiara’s biggest market, our first priority is to ensure that everyone remains safe during construction. We’re also providing space and alternatives for people to sell their goods during the construction period”, Mr Sakui said.

Australia’s markets redevelopment program is supporting the development or improvement of markets across six provinces including Malaita, Guadalcanal, Central, Isabel, Makira, Western Province.

Market vendors said they are looking forward to being undercover from the hot sun and rain, which spoils their food and makes life difficult for everyone.

Market vendor Damaris Sara from Central Province said the development was welcome news.

“We sometimes sit in the rain and under the heat of the sun to sell our products,” Ms Sara said. “That’s why we’re very happy with the extension project – which will provide shelter and a proper place to sit.”

Rachel Mesapu from Temotu Province says finding space to sell produce can be difficult at the market.

“This is how some of us women from the other provinces generate a small income while living in Honiara. It is sometimes very challenging due to the conditions, but we are encouraged by this extension project and really look to its completion,” Ms Mesapu said.

The Honiara Central Market Western Extension is a SBD10 million project funded by the Australian Government in partnership with Honiara City Council.

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