Hackers hit Northern Region Water Board: demands millions in ransom


…board in financial crisis

Hackers have hit Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), demanding millions in ransom from the parastatal which is already facing a financial crisis.

According to a whistleblower, earlier this month hackers found their way into the water utility company’s system throwing off balance bills and debtors’ information as well as human resource payroll system including the email platform.

The company now needs K10 million to pay system consultants who are helping restore the system.

The Northern Region Water Board is also cash-strapped, as it has only collected K210 million this month out of the targeted K661 million.

There are fears that the board will not be able to pay its employees this month as it requires a total of K659 million for various expenses. NRWB’s wage bill include K180 million for staff salaries and K20 million for wages.

The board also needs to make a payment of K120 million to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM), K35 million to health insurance company MASM and K16 million to another insurance company, (part payment towards K137 million).

NRWB is also required to pay K150 million to National Bank as loan repayment and pay K60 million to creditors.

Other projected expenses are Staff Airtime – K15 million (one-month payment), Staff Fuel – K18 million and Operations Fuel – K20 million.

Malawians have since called for reforms at the water supplier, saying the company is facing financial challenges due to corruption.

“The cost of maladministration is manifesting at NRWB. This profit-making parastatal is in the red because of political interference and corruption. Parastatal bodies like NRWB should be run by professional technocrats with proven managerial competencies and high integrity. Obviously, the ones who have been managing the entity have proved to be failures. They must be sacked,” said on person on social media.