Auki betel-nut vendors unhappy - Solomon Star News

Auki betel-nut vendors unhappy

17 June 2020
Some of the market houses demolished by police in Auki.

Betel-nut vendors in the Malaita Provincial capital of Auki have voiced their disappointment over an alleged action taken by police to clear betel nut stalls situated at the Auki seafront.

Speaking exclusively to this paper yesterday frustrated betel nut vendors said their source of income has been cut immediately after police carried out the exercise.

Betel nut vendors also accused the Malaita Provincial Government (MPG) of supporting the action and said the seafront is customary land and not land owned by the provincial government.

The vendors call on Premier Daniel Suidani to find alternative places for them to do business. 

When contacted Premier Suidani said the government has already paid $2million for the seafront area.

“At the moment the province has right over the seafront. 

“The stalls built on the seafront are not betel-nut markets; rather it is a place to sell marijuana and kwaso and this is no secret in Auki town,” he said.

He said any building within Auki town must be approved by the Town Planning board and said none of those betel nut huts went through the process. 

He said the provincial government has already identified land that will house betel nut vendors.

He said the betel nut market will be located in the undeveloped fishery area near the Auki central market. 

With that, the Premier is calling on the betel nut vendor to be patient as the province is looking for a solution to solve the current issue. 

He said previously his government has identified land to develop a betel nut market.

“However, the dispute is the main reason why the MARA government did not build the market last year,” he said. 

“Work on the new betel nut market area will begin next week,” he assured.

In Auki