The Sanitation Programme of the Orangi Pilot Project – Research and Training Institute, Karachi, Pakistan


As a result of the OPP-RTI sanitation model,

  • In August 2005, the federal government asked the OPP-RTI chairman to prepare a sanitation policy for Pakistan. After a number of provincial level workshops, a background paper and policy have been prepared which promotes the OPP-RTI component sharing model based on the “internal-external” concept. A stakeholder workshop has endorsed the policy document.
  • SKAA has become financially solvent. Previously it functioned entirely on IFI provided loans
  • Following the example of SKAA the Punjab Katchi Abadi Directorate (PKAD) adopted the OPP-RTI model in 2002 with the OPP-RTI and SKAA as its consultants and trainers
  • The UNDP PLUS initiative in 2001 in three Punjab cities also adopted the OPP-RTI model with the OPP-RTI as consultant and trainer for its staff, community leaders and activists and local government representatives and technical persons.
  • CBOs developed through the PLUS initiative are now OPP-RTI partners and the laid off PLUS staff has now become an NGO supporting PKAD on the model of OPP-RTI support to SKAA
  • An NGO-CBO Water and Sanitation Network (in which academics and professionals have been included) has been established in Karachi to monitor government water and sanitation projects and to interact with local government planning and implementation agencies. A working relationship between the agencies and the network has been established.


OPP-RTI was funded initially by a Pakistani Foundation. It was agreed between it and the Foundation that there would be no targets but the programme would really be an exploration into finding alternatives to the existing development paradigm for the katchi abadis. This funding has been used for administrative purposes, research, documentation, training and extension but not for development.

The development funds for internal development have been generated by the community, organised at the lane level. The reason for making the lane the unit of organisation was because it consisted of 20 to 40 houses and as such was small enough to be cohesive. For neighbourhood infrastructure lanes came together to form a confederation and each lane contributed funds to the confederal committee. The OPP-RTI has never touched the money of the people.

Plans and estimates for “external” infrastructure were developed by the OPP-RTI and/or its NGO/CBO partners in the replication projects. With these the NGOs and CBOs have negotiated with local government to fund external development. In cases where disposal points are not available, a revolving fund has been provided to partner NGOs with which they have developed link trunks between their settlements and the existing government sewage systems. Each lane pays a proportional cost back to the revolving fund when it connects to the link trunks. In one case where this has been successfully done, funds of Rs 500,000 (US$ 8,333) were provided by WaterAid. This small fund has helped 8,722 houses in Faisalabad to link their self-built neighbourhood sanitation systems to the existing government trunk sewers. Recovery has been 87.47 per cent and the fund continues to revolve.

By providing plans, designs and estimates for external development, the OPP-RTI and its partners have been able to mobilise government resources which would previously have been spent on internal development. This has been a major achievement.

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