Honiara Central Market Faces Toilet Trouble

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PUBLIC toilet and shower (sanitary) facility at the Honiara Central Market has proven very difficult to maintain due to unsettled water bills, lack of water, and frequent septic tank blockage, according to local toilet cleaner.

Honiara Central Market toilet cleaner, Catherine Sai expressed that to look after public toilets and restrooms at the Honiara Central Market is a big problem that has not been accorded to adequate attention.

“It is true that there is water available for me and my colleagues to clean up the toilets every day but the main issue faced is that water is sometimes not adequately available when water bills are not being paid timely to responsible water authority [Solomon Water].

“It gives us a hard time, especially for me as someone responsible for cleaning up toilets during and after working hours

“It would be good if water is available every single day for public usage,” she added.

She further added that as a cleaner and a woman, I know that it is very important to provide improved sanitary conditions especially for women, girls, and children who sit every day in the market with their cash crops and agricultural produce,” Catherine said.

“Sometimes it is sad to see little children coming to use the toilets when water is not available,” Catherine said.

As Honiara faces a population boom unmatched anywhere (other provincial centres) in the country, thousands of people are moving to the City while decades-old public facilities are expected to disintegrate under the pressure.

“Sewage blockage is also an obvious problem for public toilet facility users at the Honiara Central Market,” she said.

For local vendor spending nights (overnight stayers) with their unsold produces are often denied access to the restroom facility at the Central Market. There is a need for service improvement to public toilets at the Central Market.

Honiara Central Market is the only one pay toilet and there are no free ones. Previously (in the early 90s) there are public toilets situated in various locations in Honiara but it has changed over the past years due in many of them dilapidated with walls often smeared with feces.

This means the Honiara Central market toilet and shower facility normal official hours are from Monday to Sunday from 6 am to 6 pm.

“Public restrooms in Honiara Central Market require fees to use and the charging fee for a public toilet and shower usage at the Central Market costs $5.00 per person,” Catherine said.

For Honiara City Council, asking customers to pay for the toilets and showers access helps cover maintenance costs.

The Honiara Central Market offers the largest fresh produces and fish outlets in the country. It also accommodates more than 5ooo people each day.

Catherine has worked for two years at the Honiara Central Market public ablution facility.

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Lynda Wate
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