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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea

Progress on achieving SDG 6

The DPRK Government takes active measures to ensure safe drinking water and clean sanitation for all people, but the progress is slow. The “DPRK Law on Public Hygiene” (adopted in 1998) regulated the system and order in the public hygiene including for water and sanitation. As of 2017, 60.9 % and 47.5 % of the population had access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities, respectively.

In the country, the gravity fed water supply system (GFS) has been proven effective and introduced widely, contributing to drinking water supply to the residents. The GFS is an energy-saving water supply system with effective use of water resources and supply drinking water on a sustainable basis, and thus recognized suitable to the country’s real situation.

Several projects for the standard supply of drinking water through the GFS are in progress in different provinces, cities and counties. In those regions where the GFS is introduced, every household is free from worries on drinking water.

Special attention should be paid to improve the water quality. In recent years, due to the imperfect technical conditions of the sewage disposal plants and lack of equipment and reagents, the industrial and household wastewater are released to the rivers and streams and drained to soil without full treatment in some regions, thus resulting pollution.

In the agricultural sector, the irrigation facilities should be regularly maintained so as to reduce loss of water, and the production processes of factories and enterprises converted to water saving type.

Projects are underway for integrated water resources management (IWRM) in cooperation with neighboring countries. The law on IWRM was adopted, relevant institutions created, and infrastructure for rational use of water resources is built according to the plan.

Protection of the ecosystem and environment, use of water, loss of arable land and other matters are settled through discussions based on the principle of joint management.

The data related to the access to the safe drinking water is collected through surveys including MICS. It is necessary to introduce international standard in assessing indicators related to sewage and waste treatment. The system for monitoring water resources and quality is not in full operation due to the technical limitation.

Read the full report here: VNR_Report_DPRK


*The information reflected on this page has been taken directly from the official VNR received from this Member State. The information does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations.