The Scaling-Up of the OPP’s Low Cost Sanitation Programme Through CBO-NGO-Local Government Partnerships in Pakistan


  • Population                                                   13 million
  • Annual housing demand                         80,000
  • Formal sector supply                                27,800
  • Supply through katchi abadis                32,000
  • Number of katchi abadis                               702
  • Katchi abadi population 1985                 2.6 million
  • Katchi abadi population 2000                 5 million plus


  • After local government reforms Karachi is a district consisting of 18 towns which are further subdivided into union councils (UCs)
  • Orangi Town is one of the 18 towns and it is subdivided into 13 UCs
  • Each town and UC has an elected nazim (mayor) and naib (deputy) nazim
  • The population of Orangi Town is about 1.2 million
  • The town consists of 86 katchi abadis which account for over 70 per cent of its population
  • It has 104,917 houses in 7,256 lanes


  • The Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) was established by Akhtar Hameed Khan in 1980
  • The objective of the project was to:
    • Understand the problems of Orangi and their causes
    • Through action research develop solutions that people can manage finance and build
    • Provide people with technical guidance and managerial support to implement the solutions
    • In the process overcome constraints that governments face in upgrading katchi abadis
  • Participatory research identified four major problems
    • Sanitation
    • Employment
    • Health
    • Education
  • Programmes have been developed around these four issues
  • In 1988 the OPP was upgraded into four autonomous institutions
    1. OPP-Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI)
      (Sanitation, Housing, Education, Research, Training)
    2. The Orangi Charitable Trust (OCT)
      (Micro credit programme)
    3. Karachi Health and Social Development Association (KHASDA)
    4. Rural Development Trust (RDT)


  • The OPP-RTI divides sanitation into “internal” and “external” development
  • Internal development consists of:
    • Sanitary latrine in the house
    • Underground sewer in the lane
    • Collector sewers
  • External development consists of:
    • Trunk sewers
    •  Treatment plants
  • Results in Orangi and in 175 other locations in Pakistan have demonstrated that
    • communities can finance, manage and build internal development provided they are organised and are provided with technical support and managerial guidance
    • local governments can support the process by building external development provided they accept the concept and train their staff in OPP-RTI methodology and in working with communities

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