The selling of Betel nut with Honiara Town has now been banned by the Honiara City Council (HTC), effective from Friday last week.The news of the ban would most likely bring a possible backlash from betel nut vendors who, like many other vendors within Honiara, stand to loose a huge portion of their daily income.
"I make at least SB$200 per day selling betel nut, and that caters for my family's needs like school fees, what has the HTC done to help people like us?" said a vendor in Honiara.
The HTC has decided to act on the massive spread of people selling betel nut, many are erecting stalls, similar to those in Rove, within the Honiara Town area.
A spokesperson for the HTC says they are starting to clear the town and have already informed betel nut sellers to stop selling within the Honiara Town area.
"The thing is we are not stopping them from continuing their small businesses, but we want them to sell them outside the town area," he explained. "Some visitors say that the city of Honiara is very dirty, particularly when people sell betel nut on the streets."
The spokesperson says that those sellers who do not act upon the order will be fined SBD$100 on the spot.
"The arts festival is just around the corner, so although it may be uncomfortable to many, we must do this to give a good first impression to our visitors."