WASH Programme

Project completed

The integrated and holistic approach that this programme takes to water is designed to address sanitational and health issues, and establish linkages between wastewater and agriculture. In this, the project keeps a focus on the basic humanitarian need of access  to WASH services through capacity building and construction of infrastructure. Most of the activities will be implemented in the provinces of Kangwon, North and South Hangwhae in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Korea, Democratic People’s Republic
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH) (til 2016)
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy
01.02.2015 - 31.03.2017
CHF  2’230’000

The humanitarian needs are prevailent in the DPRK, access to safe and clean water is precarious and the safe management of household waste and effluents is required.

Switzerland’s humanitarian aid programme is designed to address at least some of these needs. Currently, the first humanitarian Medium-Term Programme (MTP), originally covering the period 2012-14 and now extended to 2016, includes the ongoing Sloping Land Management (SLM) Project and delivery of dried skimmed milk to address malnutrition and improve food security, environment and DRR. In terms of health improvement, the WASH programme, initiated mid-2012 and carried out in partnership with the Ministry of City Management (MoCM), is part of SDC’s humanitarian intervention.


The health status of targeted rural populations is improved through access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities and hygiene awareness.

The WASH programme significantly reduce incidences of disentry, improves the cycle of water and nutrient use at a household level and therefore has positive effects on the health by reducing child mortality and  mitigating poverty and hunger.

Target groups

The emphasis is on population where access to safe and clean water is not provided and precarious management of household waste and effluents is still practiced.

The focus will remain on rural settings where smaller systems are more likely to fully benefit from rehabilitation than larger urban systems. SDC’s geographic scope aims to reach out to locations that are reachable within a three days’ visit.

The concept of  “WASH for all” targets mainly women  mainly responsible for collecting water and maintaining household hygiene .

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:

The state provides improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation, with facilities being managed and maintained with beneficiary participation in a sustainable and economical way in defined project areas.

Outcome 2:

Government and beneficiaries embrace hygiene and sanitation practices which are self-perpetuated by advocacy embedded in target populations.

Outcome 3

The Ministry of City Management (MoCM) applies an WASH programming for the rural areas of intervention which links wastewater management to water resource management.


Expected results:  

  • 20,000 beneficiaries receive improved water and sanitation facilities of good quality. Government technicians, workmen and beneficiary groups receive training on O&M and apply the know-how.
  • Governments’ abilities to manage WASH services are enhanced (O&M, investement planning).
  • Steps towards a “WASH for all” policy on what technologies, standards and guidelines are appropriate for rural areas are drafted, designed and promulgated.

Results from previous phases:  

The integrated approach developed in the first two phases remains the basis of the future intervention, however, the focus will be shifted to rural areas, as such systems are of the scale and concept where HH can make the greatest positive impacts. Best practices are transformed into standards und will be further developed with a strong emphasis on operation and maintenance.

The implementation approach combining direct implementation, technical expertise, trainings and constant dialogue with MoCM proved succesful. The first two phases provided access to safe and clean water to approx. 19,000 beneficiaries with sanitation coverage ranging from around 25 to 50% of the same population.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
  • Schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • WASH stakeholder cooperation through close exchange with different interlocutors and international partners that have a proven experience in the WASH sector.
  • Sector coordination through active contribution to the UNICEF-led WASH Thematic Group (e.g. policy development, technical solutions, knowhow transfer, promotion of hygiene practices)
  • Synergies with the SLM project that allows SDC to aim towards a comprehensive approach covering watershed management, prevention of environmental degradation, DRR measures and water source protection.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’230’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    2’059’178 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   2’110’000 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   4’090’000
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)