A rebuilt Gerehu Market opens – safe and clean and ready for business

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The new look Gerehu Market
The new look Gerehu Market

Gerehu market vendors and users will be celebrating when their new safe and clean market is re-opened by the NCDC Governor and UN Women on Thursday.

Improvements over three years  have been driven by National Capital District (NCDC), UN Women and Nationwide Microbank to ensure Gerehu market is a safe, clean and inclusive space to sell. UN Women, Country Representative, Dr Jeffrey Buchanan believes the city’s markets are pivotal in enhancing the role of women in our community.

“Markets offer a crucial opportunity for women to manage a small business, provide for their families, save money and make a concerted contribution to strengthening the nation’s economy. UN Women supports hard-working women vendors in the city’s markets to have a safer place to earn a living and for the public to go shopping,” Mr Buchanan said.

Among the changes across the marketplace, the most innovative is the newly developed Nationwide Microbank’s MiCash mobile wallet. MiCash allows vendors to pay their market space fees using the mobile wallet – an initiative aimed to reduce the risk of theft that vendors experience on a regular basis. The mobile wallet also allows NCDC to collect the revenue for the market spaces, which was previously not being banked into NCDC on a regular basis.

The work at Gerehu Market has been completed under the Port Moresby Safe Cities Programme which is part of UN Women’s Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls Global Initiative.   Port Moresby was selected as one of the five cities for the global pilot initiatives – alongside Quito in Ecuador, Kigali in Rwanda, Cairo in Egypt and New Delhi in India. NCD City Manager, Leslie Alu is pleased Port Moresby has been involved in the initial global programme and looks forward to upcoming projects in Port Moresby.

The old Gerehu market
The old Gerehu market

“Gerehu was our first pilot initiative and this will be followed by the reconstruction and improvement of services at Gordons market next year,” Mr Alu said.

“NCDC is committed to making all the markets of the city safe and economically viable spaces for all vendors in the informal economy,” he said.

Work in Gerehu Market began in 2011, when NCDC and UN Women began to make some managerial and operational changes to ensure the market had visible police and management presence to prevent crime and ensure the safety and security of the vendors. In 2012, the first refurbishment of Gerehu market took place. Toilets, drainage, water tabs and other basic facilities were put in place. Hon. Minister Michael Malabag and Hon. Governor Powes Parkop, then committed to funding a children’s playground and the paving of the market respectively. The second and final refurbishment started in 2014.

Two new buildings have been erected to provide additional spaces for market vendors to sell as well as a playground roof.

Development partners for the Gerehu Market redevelopment include the Australian and New Zealand Governments, in addition to project partners National Capital District (NCDC), UN Women, Nationwide Microbank and the Royal Papua New Constabulary.

ENDS

Attached images caption: The Gerehu Market has undergone a significant transformation between January 2011 and September 2014 thanks to support from the UN Women Safe Cities Programme.

For further information, please contact:
Alethia Jimenez
Safe Cities Programme Team Leader
E: alethia.jimenez@unwomen.org   P: 321 9855 and 7030 9435

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