The Ghana Water Company says a GHC95million debt owed it by 24 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies and other state institutions in the Ashanti Region alone is hampering its expansion efforts. As at end of April 2017, the 24 MMDAs as well as other state institutions had an outstanding water bills amounting to GHC74 million owed the Ashanti South office. At the Ashanti North office, an additional GHC21 million is owed by 375 public institutions. Officials of the Company disclosed the staggering debt to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, when he paid a working visit to interact with workers of the Company in Kumasi. The visit offered a platform for staff of the company to highlight working challenges to the minister for possible redress. Chief Manager of Ghana Water Company in charge of Ashanti South, Maxwell Addo-Boateng, mentioned illegal mining as one of the biggest challenges faced in water treatment. He noted the company has had to spend millions of cedis to treat polluted water for consumption. High indebtedness is also another challenge hampering the operations of Ghana Water, he added. Debt ‘unacceptable’The regional minister, Mr Osei Mensah, was stunned at the rate of indebtedness by state institutions, describing it as unacceptable. “It is unacceptable for public institutions to owe a utility provider such a huge amount. This can’t continue because we can’t expect GWCL to be effective and efficient when public institutions owe them this much”. He assured managers of the water company that he will establish the cause of non-payment of the bills. The minister also visited the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL). He expressed disquiet with some shoddy works supervised by AESL, stating the government is not getting value for money. The minister also visited GRIDCo where he promised to assist solve their encroachment challenge.