Vila Times

Nakamal in open air worries licensed ones

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By Gratien Molsoul

The number of the Nakamals or places who sell the kava juice in open air in Port Vila has increased and
this becomes big worry for those which had to pay and obtain a license from the Municipality before
operating and providing serving to kava drinkers.
A businessman who owns a Nakamal at Freshwater Area has decided to speak out last week end on
condition of anonymity as he raised his concern on how the Municipality of Port Vila is turning a blind
eye on this kind of activity which is apparently illegal.
“I am sure the Municipality and its wardens know about this activity but why they let this happen? There
are many municipal wardens living at Freshwater and they see these open air Nakamals every night. The
Kava juice business should be reserved only for Nakamals which have licensed and other requirements

to operate in town. Imagine if a customer of that open air Nakamal needs to go to toilet, is this facility
available and provided by those who operates this kind of business? I don’t think. So this business has
automatically broken the municipal by-law concerning the operation of Nakamals in town and the
requirements they have to meet,” said the businessman.
Public has noticed that in Freshwater Area, there are two Nakamals operating in open air, not without
proper licensed. Each occupied a land between private residence and the road.
This kind of illegal activity has been copied out of food selling familiarly known ’20 vatu’. This activity is
very helpful to mamas with no job as it becomes another source of income for families who have
difficulty to send their love ones to school and for their daily needs.
But Kava should not be categorized with these small income earners as it is covered by a municipal by-
law being passed by the Port Vila municipal council several years ago. This by-law requires an operating
license with proper facilities: good shelter, toilets for women and men, good space reserved for
customers to make sure the hygiene is applied for health purposes.
Today, the majority of the Nakamals operating in the capital city of Vanuatu does not comply with the
municipal by-law. It seems that here also, the Municipality is turning a blind eye. Many are operating
without license and also without proper facilities required by the municipal by-law.
These illegal activities are increasing in Port Vila and deserved immediate action to be properly taken by
the authorities concerned. “They should pay a fine to the Municipality,” requests the businessman.
Vila Times did not do an attempt to obtain a comment from Port Vila Town Hall before going to press as
it is a longtime issue which should be already addressed if the authorities are really concerned and
motivated on what they are deciding as by-laws for people living in the urban zone to follow.