Kitchen staff at St. Francis Senior High Technical School (FRANTECH) a public school at Akyem Oda, Eastern Region, are continuing their protest over the deteriorating conditions of their kitchen and the lack of essential culinary logistics.

The protest, which began on Tuesday, has seen staff donning red armbands, headgear, and dresses in a show of solidarity and discontent.

The protesting workers have expressed their frustrations over the administration’s failure to address their long-standing concerns.

According to the kitchen staff, the kitchen shed is in a deplorable state, with a tattered roof causing leakages during rainfall, which disrupts culinary activities.

Moreover, the kitchen is grossly under-equipped, with only 80 pantry bowls available to serve over one thousand boarding students.

This shortage forces the staff to serve meals in turn, causing delays and inefficiencies.

The situation is exacerbated by poor lighting conditions; dead bulbs in the kitchen have led staff to resort to using phone lights to prepare meals at dawn.

The health implications of the current cooking conditions are also a major concern.

The use of firewood instead of cooking gas to prepare meals for over a thousand students has led to serious health issues among the kitchen staff due to excessive smoke inhalation.

“Our roof is bad it leaks anytime it rains. We have complained to management since last year but they have ignored us. Last Saturday, it was an eyesore when it rained. The cooks had to move the entire food on fire to another side of the kitchen because the water was leaking into the food” One of the agitating kitchen workers lamented.

Another worker stated ” The kitchen is not properly secured, the doors are bad so thieves sneak in to steal. Imagine if someone enters and poisons the food who will they blame? Thieves have stolen the pantry bowls now out of the 200 it is left with 80. The pipe is not working, the pipe holes have broken, and the entire kitchen stinks”.

The workers also complained about a malfunctioning refrigerator in the kitchen making it difficult to preserve perishable goods.

“There are no functional refrigerators, or bulbs around so the kitchen is dark we use lights of our phones to illuminate. We use firewood to cook but mud-made cooking stuff is bad makes it difficult to cook for such a large number of students so laborers we hire to help hardly return due to the challenges. If this school is indeed a government school then the government should intervene”

She added “Where we cook is not hygienic so we are pleading with authorities to intervene to refurbish the place. Since double track started seven years ago, we have not gone on break always working in the smoke-polluted kitchen. Now we are suffering various health complications due to the unsafe condition in the kitchen”.

Management of the school and the District Director of GES declined to comment.

In their plea for immediate intervention, the kitchen staff have called upon Member of Parliament, Akwasi Acquah and the government to rehabilitate the kitchen facilities.

They have vowed to continue their protest until their grievances are addressed and the necessary improvements are made.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah