The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) will soon be launching a public awareness campaign on the need for every household to have a mailbox.
Chairman of the GPOC’s Board of Directors Rev. Raphael Massiah told a news conference on Monday that the absence of mailboxes at homes around the country is affecting the postal service’s operations.
“There is a little but significant piece that is missing and is preventing us from being [as] effective and efficient as we possibly can and it is that little box,” Massiah said, while pointing at two red mailboxes that were sitting on the table at the press conference.
Massiah explained that while there are many new housing schemes being developed and even more homes being constructed, most of them around the “length and breadth” of the country are missing an important component–a mailbox.
“It has a negative impact on the delivery of mail. That delivery, the effective delivery of mail right across the length and breadth of the nation. A bill may be delivered to your home but no one is there. Your son or daughter may receive vital information from a university, local or overseas, about their acceptance and because of the absence of a mailbox the dog might eat it up, neighbours might take it from off of the fence and that can stymie your best efforts to advance and move forward,” Massiah said, while stating that the public sensitisation programme is slated to begin soon.
He noted that the GPOC is encouraging all citizens to make an effort and invest in the box, which will ensure the safe and secure arrival of mail.
Minister of Public Telecommunications Cathy Hughes also noted that the programme has become necessary because of the increased amount of mail that is returned to the post office.
It was noted by the Postmaster General Karen Brown that a large number of mail was returned between January and November last year and it takes a further five or six visits by a postal worker before some of it can be delivered to the addressees.
“Just imagine the cost that is racked up every time a postal worker has to go five and six times to try and deliver a piece of mail and then has to bring it back to the post office to be sorted again,” Hughes said, while pointing out various incidents where postmen and postwomen have been attacked by dogs while trying to deliver mail safely.
As a result, Hughes said that they have started engaging the technical institutes across the country to construct mailboxes. She noted that when the campaign starts around the country, there will be a drastic increase in demand for mailboxes and young entrepreneurs and persons who are skilled would be able to benefit.
“This is also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs… I know the Private Sector Commission’s minds will be working and the young entrepreneurs can get into making boxes,” she said.