FIJI CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL STREET VENDORS

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Officials say vendors cause health problems

By Serelisoni Moceica SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Dec. 29, 2011) – Illegal vendors are at it again and the Suva City Council says it will not tolerate them any more.

The vendors, at the junction of Mead Road and Princes Road at Tamavua in Suva, say they have no choice but to sell there to feed their families.

"I have talked nicely to them and I understand that they have families to feed but the fact is they're illegal and the end result is police will intervene if they don't stop," said Suva's special administrator Chandu Umaria yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Umaria has also said the city council for Suva will be cracking down on problems with homeless people, prostitutes and street children. According to Umaria, transients sit in front of bank machines and busy corridors in the city, some asking for money, which is detrimental to tourism in the capital city.]

Mr. Umaria said residents living in the area had complained about the food sales.

"It's unhygienic. The food sold there is exposed to dust and vehicle fumes," he said.

"But they aren't relenting. They keep popping up."

Mr. Umaria said the vendors had been told to stop a few months ago but defied their directives.

Market vendors Akuila Navuda and Siteri Tima said they had been trading in the area the past three years to feed their family.

"We have children and this has been so far the best place to sell from of all the places we've been. We'll keep doing this until they stop us, it's our life," Mr. Navuda said.

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