To end the scourge of animal attacks on postmen and women of the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC), the Telecommunications Ministry now requires consumers to acquire a mailbox, especially during the holiday season.
At the Kitty Post Office on Wednesday, Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes announced that workers are put at risk when they venture into unknown yards to deliver mail. In some cases, they are injured by animals of the proprietors and as such, efforts have been made to distribute mailboxes to some individuals.
“The volume of return mail is increasing, and we want to reduce that and we want to ensure the safety of our postmen and our postwomen who are committed to delivering mail on time.”
She noted that on many occasions, dozens of mails are returned to the post office and it is unfeasible to return those mails several times before it is collected.
“If they go to deliver and there is no mailbox, this piece of mail has to go right back to the GPOC and quite often, it has to be resorted…one letter or one bill could be resorted up to five times.”
She stressed that this may result in utility bills arriving at later dates which can cause serious issues with the respective agencies.
Hughes said, “We’re talking about all kinds of mail. We’re talking about you regular mail… registered mail, NIS vouchers, and important tax messages. Sometimes it can be a death, birth or marriage certificate; TIN certificate and at this season, Christmas cards.”
Postmaster General Karen Brown explained the initiative, which would have commenced since last February, as a campaign to increase awareness on the importance of mailboxes. She noted that throughout this venture, the GPOC would have assisted small entrepreneurs in selling over 1700 postboxes across Guyana.
“To date, we sold 570 boxes [on] the East Bank; Linden-Wismar area, 373 boxes; Berbice, New Amsterdam, Skeldon area was 215 boxes and the West Coast Demerara was 126 boxes…Nothing makes us happier that been able to serve you.”
From this week, over 100 mailboxes will be distributed to persons who are in need of one. GPOC workers would have carried out a survey in their communities to formulate a list of persons who are eligible to receive these boxes.