WASH Programme 2nd Phase

Project completed

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is directly linked to people’s health, their livelihoods and to a sustainable development in general. The activities fight effectively diarrhea and therefore have positive effects on the nutritional and health condition of the targeted population. Starting in February 2012, SDC and the Ministry of City Management (MoCM) launched a joint WASH programme in rural and urban areas. The goal of this programme is to improve the living conditions of the targeted population through better access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities. The DPRK institutions at national and provincial level are benefiting from technical support in regard to water quality and adequate techniques provided by the SDC WASH Implementation Unit.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
01.01.2013 - 31.12.2014
CHF  1’500’000

The situation in the water and sanitation sector in the DPRK has deteriorated since the early 90s, when most towns had piped water supply systems and waste water treatment. The facilities still exist; however, they are malfunctioning due to leakages, break downs and poor maintenance or due to lack of electrical power to run pumping systems. With the failure of sanitation infrastructure, diarrhea is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality for children under-five years according to data provided by UNICEF.


WASH is directly linked to people’s health status, their livelihoods and sustainable development. The activities fight effectively diarrhea and therefore have positive effects on the nutritional situation as well as on the health conditions of the targeted population (reduction of waterborne diseases).

Target groups

The WASH for all approach defines access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities for all households within a defined project area. Kubin Ri (Pyongyang Province); Songsok Ri and Pyongwon Up (South Pyongan Province); Ryanghap Ri, Daejong Ri, Chimgyo Ri in North Hwanghae Province. Approximately total population of 23’700 people without regional impact (indirect impact at Ministry and Provincial levels). Kubin Ri : ~ 3’000 people (435 houses) + institutions Songsok Ri : ~ 2’000 people (350 houses) + institutions Pyongwon Up : ~ 15’000 people (3000 houses) + 2 hospitals and 2 schools (1,000 students) Singye / Kumchon Counties : ~ 3700 people (328 houses) + 17 institutions Support to eight provincial laboratories in the topic of water quality

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Improved access to and utilization of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene contributing especially towards the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to diarrhea and acute respiratory infections.
  2. MoCM is applying the defined overall WASH policy for the DPRK, including the technical expertise in water and sanitation. The support from SDC includes the technical expertise and facilitation of access to contemporary techniques for DPRK institutions.



Results from previous phases:  

In 2012 a joint MoCM-SDC WASH program in DPRK has been launched. The technical collaboration between SDC and MoCM started in a positive manner with constructive and increasing team work, at institutional and field level. However limitations on technical and human resources from MoCM had a delaying impact on the progress and the achievements in the first year of the activities. The institutional collaboration is improving with the harmonization of the working instruments, including weekly meeting at MoCM and regular joint monitoring missions. The signature of a MoU between SDC and MoCM on the WASH activities 2012-2014 is pending, the dialog with MoCM and KECCA is ongoing. As the SDC SLM programme shows, the negotiation of such agreements needs time, as operational detail on implementation and programme structure are to be clarified.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’088’187 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    1’500’000
Project phases Phase 4 01.02.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed) Phase 3 01.02.2015 - 31.03.2017   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.05.2012 - 31.12.2013   (Completed)