The School Feeding Caterers Association has said its members are dying as a result of huge debts they are unable to pay.
Speaking on GhanaAkoma evening political show on Akoma 87.9FM in Kumasi with Aduanaba Kofi Asante, one of the executives of the School Feeding Caterers Association in Ashanti who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that the government owes them since last academic year.
“The children are being fed GH¢1 and a tax of 3 percent so we are left with GHp97 per child which is not enough and we have complained severally but nothing has been done about it. Now schools have reopened and we have to feed the children with that same amount.
“We have so many arrears and when payments are in, we are underpaid which is really bad. Most of the women are dying because of the debts they owe since you cannot go and buy something on credit again. You go in for a loan and you have to plead,” the executive member lamented.
She continued: “Let’s assume the price of rice is GH¢600. The person is going to give it to you at GH¢900 because you are buying on credit. When the government promises to pay when school reopen, they don’t pay then you are seen as a liar. So when you mention school feeding on anything you want to buy on credit you will not get it.”
Three weeks after school reopened, the caterers are yet to start operation and this has affected attendance at various basic schools in Ashanti Region.
A visit to some of the basic schools in Kumasi saw all schools without the caterers at post.
School children pleaded with the government to pay the caterers to enable them cook for the pupils.