Wamaiyen 24-hour Market Project unveiled

The people of Yangoru-Saussia District in the East Sepik Province celebrated the launch of the Wamaiyen Market project on Tuesday 9 April.

Upon completion, the market will be the first-ever 24-hour market in the history of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the first in the South Pacific Region according to UN Women.

The Minister for International Trade and Investment & Yangoru-Saussia MP, Richard Maru said the Wamaiyen Market would be a national asset upon completion because it would not only serve the people of Wamaiyen and the Yangoru-Saussia District but also those from other districts in the East Sepik Province, West Sepik Province, and all travelling public along the Sepik Highway.

“This market will operate 24 hours which means there has to be a proper electricity and water supply system, a police station so our mothers and girls are safe, a guest house for the mothers travelling from afar to rest in, banks, ablution block, an office, a car park, and other essential facilities. Wamaiyen Market is a market for Papua New Guinea because the National Government, the Provincial Government, and our partners will also be funding this planned modern market facility development,” said Minister Maru.

The first phase of the Wamaiyen Market Project will be the building of the bore water supply system by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to supply water to the market and to all the families in the Wamaiyen Village.

PNG Country Director for ADRA, Darren Yorio announced at the launch that work on building the water supply system will commence this month.

“We will start next week with our team moving the drilling machine for the bore water supply system. From the bore the water will be fed into a tank where it will be treated before being supplied to the market and every household in the Wamaiyen village through the bore water reticulation system. The water supply system should be completed within six months,” said Yorio.

While the water supply system is being constructed, the design work for the market will commence.

“I will take representatives from the Womayen Village to see the designs and the operations of Gordons Market, Kimbe Market, and Kokopo Market so they can get some ideas and also be involved in the design of the Womayen Market because they know their own market needs and will have to agree and have an input on the design, they want for the Wamaiyen Market. An Australian company will be engaged to design the market as it has to be a design for a world-class market. We will be engaging an engineering firm that has been involved in the design and project management of Gordons Market, Kimbe Market, and other markets in the country,” said Minister Maru.

Another important development partner of the Wamaiyen Market project, the UN Women will take care of the “soft” part of the project which includes providing training on the proper management of the market to make it a safe and sustaining project.

The Head of UN Women PNG Country Office, Adekemi Ndieli said: “Eighty-five percent of people in any market in PNG are women and that is why UN Women has worked in 14 markets in PNG including Wewak, Alotau, Kimbe, Goroka, Mt. Hagen, Wabag, Tari, Lae, Gordons, and now Womayen.

“Markets are very important because that is where economic activities take place, and it is the root of development. UN Women is here to make sure that this market has the highest standard and everything works well. We commit ourselves to the progress of this project and we will work very closely with Minister Maru to see to it that this project is a success. We need to work together to make sure that this market is not only vibrant but safe for women and girls because a safe market for women and girls is a safe market for everybody. May this market be a beacon of light to all of Papua New Guinea.”

Minister Maru urged the UN Women to start the training program as soon as they can.

“I will be expecting the UN Women to start talking about the training program before we even start building the market- training on who will manage the market, how to manage it, the employment of youths to manage the market, the structure of the market, how the market can make money for its operations and to pay its employees, etc. The UN Women have vast experience in this space and that is why we are extremely grateful to have them as a partner in this project,” said Minister Maru.

A big announcement was also made at the launch yesterday when the National Government through the Department of National Planning and Monitoring made a commitment of K1 million towards the Wamaiyen Market project.

Minister Maru who was grateful for this commitment said: “It will cost over K8 million to complete the Womayen Market project. The acquiring of the land on which the market will be built on, the earthworks, and the water supply system have caused the Yangoru-Saussia District Development Authority K2.5 million. We have already made a big investment to prove to our partners that we are committed to this course.”

Maru says the East Sepik Provincial Government has already budgeted funds to support the construction of the Wamaiyen Market in the 2024 Provincial Budget.

“We have some funds, and we will still be seeking assistance for more funding. Donor partners like Australia, China, and Japan assisted with the building of other markets around the country including Gordons Market and Kimbe Market. We pray that they will also come and support our Womayen Market.”

The people of Wamaiyen have been urged to take care of the market project, especially to look after all the contractors who will be working to deliver the project.

 

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Yangoru-Saussia District, Wamaiyen 24-hour Market Project, Richard Maru, 24 hour market launch