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TitleOrangi Pilot Project
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsKarachi, PKOrangi Pil
Paginationp. 227-236: 4 boxes
Date Published1995-01-01
Keywordsdemonstration projects, family planning, financing, housing, low-income communities, non-governmental organizations, orangi pilot project (karachi, pakistan), pakistan karachi, orangi town, peri-urban communities, sanitation, schools, women's work

Orangi is the largest "katchi abadi" or unplanned settlement in Karachi, Pakistan. At the last estimate in 1989, there were about 94,000 households with a population of 800,000. The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) has become one of the best-known NGO projects in the provision of sanitation. In the 16 years since its inception, the project has directly and indirectly assisted about one million people in the low-income settlement of Orangi to improve sanitation. During this time it has developed programmes in several areas including sanitation, health, housing technology, education support services, credit and income generation, social forestry and a rural project. Since 1988, the OPP has expanded into four autonomous institutions. The OPP Society allocates core funds to the three implementing institutions - the OPP Research and Training Institute which manages the sanitation, housing and social forestry programmes, the Orangi Charitable Trust which manages the credit programmes, and the Karachi Health and Social Development Association which manages the health programmes. The OPP considers itself a research institution whose strategy is to minimize external support and to promote community organization and self-management to assist households to achieve their objectives for local development.
This paper describes a number of "model" programmes developed by the OPP. (1) A low-cost sanitation programme enabled low-income households to construct and maintain modern sanitation (pour-flush latrines in their own homes and underground sewage pipelines in the lanes) with their own funds and under their own management. The OPP analyzed the existing sanitation problems and simplified
designs for a new sanitation system so that it was affordable and technically implementable locally. They assisted by identifying local activists, providing training in community organization and technical details, and giving further guidance and supervision. Through simplifying the design of latrines and eliminating contractors' profiteering the cost was cut in half. Once households realized they could address sanitation and health problems for such a small amount and, working with a lane of 20-40 people as the basic level of organization, residents of a lane became responsible for managing the finances and contracting the lane sanitation. By 1993, 97 percent of the lanes in the area in which OPP had been active since 1982 had installed lane sanitation. OPP works on the principle that the community has the resources it needs for development: skills, finance and managerial capacity. However, it needs support to use these resources, to identify further skills that are required and to receive training in these skills. (2) A low-cost housing programme upgraded the "thalla" (block-makers yards) by introducing stronger machine-made concrete blocks, and cheaper battens and tile roofing. The programme also upgraded the skills of local masons by introducing
proper construction techniques and by educating house owners on planning, orientation and low-cost technology. (3) A basic health and family-planning programme for segregated and illiterate or semi-literate low-income women taught the causes and methods of preventing common diseases, the importance of birth control, the importance of growing vegetables, and provided immunization and family planning services. One of the main problems was how to gain access to tradition-bound segregated women. The OPP introduced mobile training teams and selected an activist family or contact lady for 10-20 lanes with regular meetings at their homes and the formation of neighbourhood groups by the activists. (4) A women's work centre programme organized stitchers and other garment workers into family units dealing directly with exporters and wholesalers. The programme also covered managerial skills and cooperative action. (5) In 1987, The Orangi Charitable Trust was formed to help family enterprises obtain credit at reasonable interest rates. (6) A schools programme assisted in the upgrading of physical and academic standards in private schools which make up 90 percent of schools in Orangi. (7) A rural development programme provided credit and technical guidance to help entrepreneurs develop their arid holdings into woodlots and orchards, and to grow forage for milk cattle.
The original intention of OPP was to demonstrate, by example and to the government of Pakistan, the strength of alternative models of development and the scale of people's initiative and activity. It was assumed that, once the model programme had been shown to be successful, government would adopt this model and OPP staff would become advisors to government. This has not happened and now OPP is providing support for community organizations to take responsibility for activities that should be the responsibility of local government. Also local residents are being encouraged to lobby and pressure officials into acknowledging and taking up their responsibility.

NotesIncludes overview of Orangi Pilot Project publications
Custom 1822


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