Environment and Urbanization,Vol. 7, No. 2, October 1995
also covers managerial skills and coopera-tive action.7. A rural development programme whichprovides credit and technical guidance tosupport entrepreneurs develop their aridholdings into woodlots and orchards, and togrow forage for milk cattle.
II. THE BEGINNING OF THEORANGI PILOT PROJECT
ORANGI IS THE
or un-planned settlement in Karachi. People be-gan livingin theareain 1965 and, after1972,it grew rapidly. At the last estimate in No- vember 1989, there were about 94,000houseslocatedtherewith anestimatedpopu-lation of about 800,000. The population isdrawn from a wide rangeof immigrantgroupsfrom India, Bangladesh, the Punjab, thenorthern areas of Pakistan, and local peo-ple. Most find employment as labourers,skilled workers, artisans, shopkeepers or clerks. The official agencies have provided a few facilities including main roads, water linesand electricity plus a few schools, hospitalsand banks but these have been supple-mented by a wide range of private services. This was the situation when the BCCI first invited Dr Akter Hammed Khan to work inOrangi in 1980. The first focus was on thesanitation and sewerage problems. Without sanitary latrines and underground seweragelines, both the health and property of theresidents was being endangered. However,the households could not afford the current cost of conventionalsanitation systems. Thefirst OPP researchers rejected solutions based on foreign aid because the local resi-dents could not afford to repay the loans or maintain the systems, and the donors them-selves could not afford the large costs in- volved given the scale of necessary invest-ments.In 1980, bucket latrines or soakpits werethe main means of disposal for human ex-creta and open sewers for the disposal of waste water. The result was poor health withtyphoid, malaria, diarrhoea, dysentery andscabies being common. Poor drainage re-sulted in waterlogging and reduced property values. Initial enquiries showed that resi-dents were aware of both the sanitation anddrainage problems and knew of the conse-quences for their health and property. How-ever, they took no action for four reasons:1. Psychological barrier: the residents be-lieved that it was the duty of official agenciesto build sewerage lines to local residents freeof charge.2. Economic barrier: the cost of conven-tional sanitary latrines and undergroundsewerage could not be afforded by house-holds.3. Technical barrier: although the peoplecould build their own houses, neither they nor the local builders possessed the techni-cal skills required for the construction of underground sewerage lines.4. Sociological barrier: the constructionof the undergroundlinesrequireda highlevelof community organization for collective ac-tion and this did not exist.Further analysis of the sanitation problemidentified four levels of infrastructure: insidethe house, in the lane, secondary or collec-tor drains, and the main drains and treat-ment plant. Further research showed that the house-owners were willing to be respon-sible for the first three levels. Drawing onexperience in rural research and extensionprogrammes, the OPP plannedtheirstrategy. The researchconsistedof simplifyingdesignsso that they were affordable and technically implementable locally. The extension in- volved identifying activists, training in com-munity organization and technical details,and further guidance and supervision.
III. LOW-COST SANITATION
RESEARCH INTO AN
affordable system took about a year. Through simplifying the de-sign and developing steel moulds for sani-tary latrines and manholes, the cost was re-ducedto one-quarterthatof contractorrates. The elimination of contractors’ profiteeringreduced labour rates by a further one-quar-ter. The cost of the final proposed system (at current prices) was about Rs. 1,000 (US
31)of whichabout halfwas for the investment inside the house and the remainder for thelane sanitation.