Liberia celebrates International Street Vendors’ Day
The Director of Police at the Paynesville City Corporation (PCC), P. Melvin Kolleh Tolbert has challenged street vendors in Liberia to remain focus on their businesses.
Director Tolbert said street vendor refers to anybody selling goods in the street without a proper shop, which is vital to the economy.
He made the call on Monday, 14 November when the Federation of Petty Traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia (FEPTIWUL) celebrated International Vendors Day here.
“We stand in solidarity with the collective struggle for the creation of public spaces and conditions that adequately support street vendors”, he said.
The Paynesville City Police chief noted that street vendors work very hard to earn a genuine living, while ensuring that food and other farm produce reach even the poorest consumers, adding that street vending is not a crime.
According to Director Tolbert, study has indicated that street vending contributes to economic development by creating self-employment and providing alternative source of income, particularly for women and low-cost basic goods and food items to other lower-income groups in the cities.
He stressed that street vending business is an important employment opportunity in African cities thru which millions of youths, less educated persons, women and the poor make their living.
He stressed that while street vendors are appealing to national government for public space, they should remember that the car road is for all earth-moving equipment, not for street selling and pedestrians.
Director Tolbert urged street vendors to always avoid confrontation with law enforcers and instead, remain law-abiding.
Meanwhile, the President of FEPTIWUL, Charles Konnah, said the organization has been advocating and negotiating with government, including local authorities to provide social protection for street vendors in the country.
Mr. Konnah continued that street vending is an international venture that creates self-employment for many unemployment people around the world.
He said with the high unemployment in Liberia, government operatives should appreciate those Liberians engaged in street vending activities across the country.
He noted that through the organization’s advocacy over the years, street vendors in Liberia have gained recognition.