The Rove betel nut stalls has been at the centre of continuous row between the vendors and the Honiara City Council. The betel nut stalls were recently shut down by the Honiara City Council stating that the stalls were erected illegally.Visiting the site recently has shown that the area is once again a busy hub for betel nut chewers. New stalls have been erected and vendors have argued that the Honiara City Council must find an alternative spot for them before they will move.
"This is the only way we can make income for our daily needs and wants," stated one vendor. "To be honest, selling betel nut is better than working in the office," stated another. "At least I get money at the end of every day."
"These vendors are doing this illegally," stated one Honiara City Council officer. "If you look at the Rove market, most of the stalls are turning into semi permanent homes...most of these vendors now sleep in their stalls."
However, despite warning letters from the Honiara City Council, the vendors are determined to stay and they have vowed not to move. Linton, one young betel nut vendor in his early twenties, said that the City Council needs to look at their situation more humanely. "What they are doing is taking away our livelihood...this is our job...our only way to survive," he said.