Senior citizens endure long waits at Berbice Post Offices
Scores of old-age pensioners and senior citizens in Berbice endured hours of suffering in long lines and among crowds at various Post Offices yesterday.
They all turned up in the usual manner to uplift their (Government) old-age pensions and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pensions, while other dependent persons turned up to collect their Public Assistance monies. In addition, Tuesdays are usually ‘parcel’ days at the various post offices and this added to the confusion which existed yesterday, resulting in a large build-up of persons and chaos at the respective post offices.
At New Amsterdam, the situation was chaotic. It was a rather unfortunate scene as a large number of senior citizens waited patiently, anxiously and stood for hours awaiting the little monies to be paid to them.
Kaieteur News understands that the pensions and public assistance monies are usually paid on the first day of every month. However, since Monday was a national holiday, this resulted in the first working day of the week (yesterday) being the day for the payments to be made.
There was hardly any walking room or space at the New Amsterdam Post Office yesterday as the crowd started to build up just after 09:00 hrs. Many persons expressed anger and disgust at the entire situation and wondered why the post office could not have put other systems in place to deal with the heavy influx of persons yesterday.
One postal employee, in speaking to this newspaper, said the situation was a rare one given the quadruple factors involved – the payments of NIS, Gov’t pensions and public assistance along with the fact that it was parcel day – as well as Monday being a holiday.
At the Nigg, Corentyne Post Office, the situation was quite the same – a huge gathering of senior citizens made to wait for hours, standing, and with barely any room to breathe.
“Only in Guyana this can happen,” related one senior citizen with a sign of disgust on his face. Efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the General Post Office, proved futile.