Some form of action needs to be taken by the Ministry of Social Protection to avoid the unbearable recurring punishment which old age pensioners have to endure when they turn up at the Suddie Post Office to collect their money at the beginning of the month.
From as early as 6 a.m. on the first day, although the office opens an hour later, scores of senior citizens can be seen converging in front of the building, scattered sitting or standing by the road side parapet, or under trees, and when the gate opens there is limited seating accommodation in the compound.
Most seriously affected in this ugly state of affairs are many Amerindians, including women living in the backlands, who have to cover long distances, walking out possibly without a meal like so many others, as well, to get quick attendance.
Every so often, as happened last week Friday, payment did not commence until shortly after 10:30 a.m. With the long wait aggravating their predicament, some pensioners left out of frustration with the situation, since there is not even any drinking water.
On the same day, as would usually happen, all the pensioners were not paid, because they ran out of money, thus creating further hardship and inconvenience, as some pensioners now had to return another day.
From my own experience, the next day being Monday, I went to collect my pension at 7:30 a.m. with dozens of pensioners already there awaiting payment. Enquiries revealed that the commencement time of payment was unknown. Eventually, at exactly 10:45 a.m., they began paying pensions.
The pensioners deserve better treatment and prompt payment. This problem needs to be ended once and for all.