Segunda, Junho 24, 2024
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A vendor from the administrative post of Letefoho, in the municipality of Ermera, Carlito Fernandes, said in his municipality there aren’t opportunities for vendors like him to sell their produce, leaving them no other option than to try their luck s in the capital Dili. Nevertheless, once in the capital, municipal vendors are not given space inside the local markets driving them to try to make a sale on the streets even though they are aware they are breaking local laws.

A vendor from the administrative post of Letefoho, in the municipality of Ermera, Carlito Fernandes, said in his municipality there aren’t opportunities for vendors like him to sell their produce, leaving them no other option than to try their lucks in the capital Dili

“I can't even get $0.25 or $0.50 [in Letefoho] so I am here with my betel nut and leaves to try and make a living and so I can send my children to school. But we can’t find a spot inside [the market], they say it is full already. So, we walk with our products around here and there. How else are we going to earn a living?” he asked while at the Taibessi Market, in Dili.

He added he was not able to transport much from his municipality to sell in the capital. All he could carry was some betel nut sticks and betel leaves to sell to try and earn some money, but they are often moved on by security or they break and destroy their products.

He said the People have been suffering since independence in 2002 until today, especially in the rural areas where they can’t even earn small amounts of money.

Meanwhile, another vendor from the Municipality of Viqueque, Abel dos Santos, said he came to the capital to try and make money to live, not to cause problems for the nation. But they have been met with force, removal and destruction of their products.

“We came from the mountains, there isn’t any room for us inside [the markets]. If we sell outside [the markets] they will push us here and there. How will we be able to operate our business so we can survive? Life in the municipalities is very tough, and that is why we are here. But we come here and we are still struggling,” he said.

He added that the People fought for independence so they could have a better life and to live in peace, but over the past 20 years’ life has not improved, they are still poor and cannot earn even small amounts of money.

The Coordinator of the Taibessi Market, António Manuel de Araújo, said he is aware of municipal vendors who arrive all the time to his market, but they cannot just set up and start selling in certain areas of the market that are protected by law, including in bus stops, on top of footpaths, and on the inside of roads.

“Nowadays we are all concerned about filling out bellies. When there are no job opportunities, we get very concerned. The municipal vendors arrive at the market and we try to accommodate them to sell their products. Even though we cannot give them a permanent spot to sell their products, we allow them to sell inside the market. They can sell their products while walking up and down,” he said.

He also informed that data from 2021 shows there are 2,902 vendors, both permanent and non-permanent, selling local produce, basic need products, clothes, electronic products, mobile phones and animal products at the Taibessi market.