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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2010 DPRK: Third party evaluation of the pilot DEWATS projects in DPRK

Author: Pravinjith K.P. Institution: Paradigm Environmental Strategies Pvt. Ltd

Executive summary

“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”


UNICEF, MoCM and the Yontan County authorities have installed the pilot DEWATS for managing wastewater generated from the households. M/s BORDA, Germany have provided the technical type designs of the plant. A German consultant Mr.Bernd Ebeling helped the MoCM in the design of the horizontal filter/wetland in June 2009 and also trained the MoCM engineers. Ms. Ina Jurga, who was retained by UNICEF to work on rural sanitation and DEWATS and provided construction supervision support for the wetland and Greenhouses. The first project was commissioned in September and today Yontan county has installed 31 DEWATS. The officials from the Academy of Sciences have started monitoring the performance of the plant since 2008.

As part of the review, UNICEF and MoCM have decided to evaluate the pilot DEWATS project and accordingly engaged Mr. Pravinjith Kunhipurayil, Managing Director, Paradigm Environmental Strategies (P) Ltd., Bangalore, India to carry out the third party evaluation. The contract was from 27th September to 11th October 2010.


• To review the technical documents (feasibility study report and technical drawings of all components of DEWATS) and evaluate its appropriateness.
• To evaluate the operational efficiency of the system in achieving the expected treatment result (including quality of effluents at various stages);
• To evaluate the system operation and maintenance (types and activities undertaken);
• To recommend the approaches and aspects for future improvements and replication based on the findings of the evaluation.


1: Desk Review of technical design documents, development of evaluation plan including one day field visit
2: Field observation and inspection of DEWATS facilities including the analysis of lab test of the effluent.
3: In consultation with MoCM, County authorities and other agencies develop draft evaluation report.
4: Final report writing

Findings and Conclusions:

The UNICEF –MoCM DEWATS project is a commendable effort to protect the quality of groundwater and the river. The construction of 31 DEWATS locally is also the evidence of the great team effort. The evaluation report highlights the observations, its impact on the success of the DEWATS project.

However, the most important observation is on the cost optimization of the plants, which needs attention. The Indian experiences have proved that DEWATS can be constructed at much lower costs and thus popularizing it. Regular structured monitoring of the project can further bring down the costs by improvising the designs to suit the local conditions. It would be advisable to additional hands on training for the design of DEWATS and also in construction, operation and maintenance of new DEWATS. This could be supported with the help of international expertise.

The DEWATS being an engineering project, the evaluator does not find it right to comment/ gloss over things which are done in conformance to the designs and drawing provided by BORDA. However, it should be considered that if it is not particularly pointed out, then the specifications have been generally adhered to by all the stakeholders. Hence the focus has been primarily on deficiencies and areas of improvement.

The non conformances which have been highlighted should be taken in the right technical spirit and the team is advised to apply it globally to all the new projects in order to avoid recurrence and also enhance the utility of the DEWATS plant.


See attached report

Lessons Learned (Optional):

• There is a mismatch between the computed organic pollution loads and the actual values observed during operation. This increase in the pollutant loads will result in the decrease of de-sludging period. The effluent quality at outlet of wetland would also be higher than target values.
• Some aspects provided in the drawings were not conformed during the construction. Certain deviations from the drawing were also made. The use of insulation to minimise the temperature effects has not been complied with. Similarly, the 600 mm frost cover is also not maintained. This shall affect the quality of treatment.
• The soil cover, skewed inlet pipes, reduced number of baffled chambers, sealed biogas cover slab, etc indicate that a structured Pre-commissioning checks were not instituted resulting in the non-conformity has occurred. The consequence would be lower treatment efficiency. This is an important omission which needs to be addressed when further such systems are being commissioned.
• Lack of O&M activities is affecting the systems. Immediate steps to undertake O&M should be undertaken.

Full report in PDF

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