The government will build new Siamelie market in Ma’ufanga after negotiations with land lord, Lord Fakafanua, said Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.
Hon. Pōhiva said he talked to the noble, who is also the Speaker of Parliament, early this month about government leasing the land in which Lord Fakafanua agreed.
The Prime Minister said the new market was one of the much-needed projects the government has projected over the next four years.
He said there were too many sellers for Talamahu, Tong’s only national market.
As Kaniva News reported in 2015, the government moved vendors who used to sell their agricultural produce on footpaths in Maʻufanga to Siamelie open air market.
The market place was described by the government at the time as “temporal”.
Last week Kaniva News visited the Siamelie market and noticed there were no sellers there. The vendors had moved back to the roadsides.
The Prime Minister said works initiated at the time to build the market came to a hold because the government did not own the land.
As we reported at the time, not all vendors immediately vacated the roadsides after government announced that it was a breach of law if people continued to put their stalls there.
Some vendors complaint the roadsides were more convenient, easy for trading and it was free to use.
The government made the decision to shift vendors from the roadsides after it received information from the public citing lack of public toilets, sanitations and road congestion.
Hon. Pōhiva said the new market was planned to meet vendors’ needs.