The Informal City

Appendix – 2

Profile of Orangi Pilot Project, Karachi

Orangi Pilot Project has been working in Orangi, a low income settlement of one million population in Karachi since 1980. OPP considers itself a research and training institution whose objective is to analyse outstanding problems of the poor living in Orangi and through action research and extension provide solutions. OPP believes in the development of existing managerial and financial potential of an area. It promotes community organisation and management by providing social and technical guidance to collective action. In 1986, the OPP’s sanitation and housing programme were converted into OPP-RTI and its credit programme into the Orangi Charitable Trust (OCT).

Based on the above principles, the OPP operates the following programmes.

a) Low Cost Sanitation Programme:

This programme enables low income families to construct and maintain an underground sewage system with their own funds and under their own management. For this programme, the OPP provides social and technical guidance (based on action research), tools and supervision of implementation. The OPP’s work has shown that people can finance and build underground sanitation in their homes, their lanes and neighbourhoods. This development is called “internal” development by the OPP. However, people cannot build “external” development consisting of trunk sewers, treatment plants and long secondary sewers. This only the state can provide. In Orangi, people have invested Rs 73.15 million on internal development in 5,823 lanes consisting of 87,734 houses. The state would have spent over six times this amount to do this quantum of work. The programme is being replicated in 7 cities of Pakistan by NGOs and CBOs and in 49 settlements in Karachi by the SKAA. As a result of the programme, infant mortality in those parts of Orangi that built their sanitation systems in 1982, has fallen from 130 per thousand to 37 in 1991. A number of projects of government-OPP collaboration have or are being implemented where the state is building the external and the communities, supported by OPP, are building the internal infrastructure.

b) Health Programme

The OPP’s health programme consisted of developing women’s organisations at the lane level in lanes that had built their sanitation systems. A mobile team of experts gave advice to such organisations, through discussions and meetings, on common diseases in Orangi, their causes and ways of preventing them. It also gave advice on hygiene, immunization and family planning. As a result, 90 per cent of households that were part of this programme, immunized their children and over 45 per cent families adopted birth control. However, the OPP could not reach more than 3,000 families through this method and the project was revised.

The revised model has now been introduced under which the health programme imparts training on primary health and vaccination to local lady teachers, managers of family enterprise units and doctors in private clinics thus anchoring the programme institutionally in schools, private clinics and family enterprise units. A health centre is operated at OPP office which provides vaccines and family planning supplies to the activists in these centres.

c) Family Enterprise Economic Programme

This programme is run by the OCT which was formed in 1987. The OCT borrows from commercial banks and then on lends to small family businesses but without red-tape and collateral. These loans vary between Rs 1,000 and Rs 75,000. The aim of these loans is to increase production and generate jobs. Loans are usually given to people who have expertise in what they plan to do or are already operating businesses. Interest is charged on the loans at the current bank rate of 18 per cent. Presently, there are 6,016 units being supported by OCT loans of Rs 110,701,260. Out of these Rs 80,450,626 have been paid back with a markup of Rs 19,706,611. The recovery rate is 97 per cent. The World Bank has also given a grant as a revolving fund for the programme.

d) OPP’s Education Project

OPP tries through social and technical guidance to improve and upgrade the physical conditions and academic standards of private schools in Orangi. Physical improvements are made with loans from OCT and advice from OPP’s sanitation and housing programme. Academic improvements are made by arranging teacher’s training through existing relevant organisations; provisions and use of libraries and audio-visual aids; and publication of manuals and guide books.

Financial support is extended during three stages of establishment of these schools. One, a small start up grant of Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 for setting up the schools and two, within a year the school is institutionalised and then arises the need for physical expansion. This amounts to Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. This support is very important for the survival of the school. And three, loan for upgrading is needed as the school is by now a formal education institution and can take loans which can be repaid through its income.

OPP has provided 356 loans to such schools. Teacher’s training through Allama Iqbal Open University is also being coordinated. The education entrepreneurs also hold their monthly meetings at OPP office, where they share information on registration and teaching methods.

e) OPP Housing Programme

OPP’s low cost housing programme provides loans and technical assistance (based on research) to building component manufacturing yards in Orangi so that they can mechanise their production, improve their products, train their staff and increase their production. In addition, the programme also trains masons in using the new technologies and components that are being developed at the manufacturing yards. Also, house builders are given advice on how to relate to the manufacturing yards and masons and also advice on design, light, ventilation and other hygiene related design aspects. To provide such advice, the OPP is in the process of training para-professionals who are mostly young unemployed youth from the Orangi communities and who will then be paid by house builders or those who want improvement to their homes to help to assist them. The OPP housing  programme thus tries to create a more equitable relationship between the actors in housing drama, as a result of which housing has improved in Orangi.

f) Impact of OPP Programme

International and government agencies, NGOs and CBOs are all in the process of trying to replicate OPP programmes or develop their programmes on OPP principles. So far, working with government  has not been very successful except at the level of some projects. However, work with some NGOs has been most successful. The main constraints in the replication of OPP concepts is one, the absence of appropriately trained technical persons in low income communities; and two, the difficulty  of conventionally trained bureaucrats and professionals in government to relate to the social dynamics of low income groups.

One Comment

  1. you are legend bro. your research proved the only way to get my thesis done. i am from UET lahore. thanks again bro. i cant leave this site without thanking you.

    Posted December 8, 2019 at 3:02 am | PermalinkReply

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