OPP – Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI) manages the low cost sanitation, housing/secure housing support program, education program, the now evolving water supply and the women’s savings programs as well as the related research and training programs. Earthquake and the flood rehabilitation works are also undertaken.
LOW COST SANITATION PROGRAM
The Low Cost Sanitation Program enables low income families to finance, manage and maintain sanitary latrines in their homes, underground sewerage lines in the lanes and secondary sewers (this constitutes internal development). Government is responsible to provide main sewers/box drains and treatment plants (i.e. external development). OPP-RTI provides social and technical guidance to both community and government facilitating partnerships. The model that has evolved from the program is the component-sharing concept of development with people and government as partners. It has evolved from a lane to the city/town. The program has extended to all of Orangi town (where 106,726 houses, have invested Rs. 122.61 million in secondary, lane sewers and sanitary latrines, with govt. investing Rs. 739.3 million on main disposals) and to 463 settlements in Karachi and 44 cities/ towns, also in 93 villages (spread mostly over the Sindh and Punjab Provinces) covering a population of more than 2 million. Together with 20 partner NGOs and a number of government organizations, the expansion of work continues. There is now city/town wide application. In 2003 the Punjab Government’s SPBUS program for 21 towns adopted the component-sharing model, work on external sanitation is nearing completion, while internal development by the community supported by partner organizations continues. OPP-RTI’s proposal for sewage disposal for Karachi is now the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board’s (KW&SB) S-III plan for the city (approved in December 2006), implementation is under process. Karachi Municipal Corporation continues to be supported with maps and designs for the development of the main “nalas” (the sewage disposals /drainage channels) as box drains – more then 70% of these have now been developed. Additional focus in Karachi is the infrastructure development (sewage/drainage disposal and water supply provision) in the 610 goths /villages (that have fast become urban settlements). In the National Sanitation Policy approved by the government in November 2006, the component-sharing model and lessons are included as policy measures to be adopted nationwide.
Youth program continues to train more community architects, technicians and surveyors. The mapping and documentation of drainage channels and infrastructure in settlements and goths of Karachi by the youth continues, it provides the basis for expansion of work. Maps and documentation of infrastructure of 553 of the total 2,735 settlements/goths and 16 out of 18 towns of Karachi are complete, together with the mapping of most of the drainage channels in the city. A Youth Technical Network has lately evolved bringing together youths of more then 20 partner organizations to understand, learn and strengthen each other (with mapping and technical skills).
LOW COST HOUSING PROGRAM
The Low Cost Housing Program enables improvements in building components and construction techniques, through action research, provision of credit and technical guidance to the building component manufacturing yards, training of youths and masons and the mobilization of house owners. Each year more than 2,500 houses in Orangi benefit.
Important development is the training of youths to become community architects as well as mobilizing and strengthening their organizations, based in Orangi and other towns, for providing housing support services to the community and technical training to other youths. Two partner organizations have evolved, one based in Orangi, with its work expanding beyond Orangi and another based in the nearby Gadap town .
The Education Program upgrades the physical condition and improves the academic standards of private schools in Orangi and five more peripheral towns of Karachi, through start up grant, credit, teacher’s training and the mobilization of saving groups. 588 schools educating 79,137 children have been supported. In addition 303 more schools have been supported with credit by the OPP-OCT.
For strengthening the coming together of schools and linking up the training activity, lectures and forums are organized. The events, besides adding to their skills, have provided an opportunity to schools and teachers to come together. For strengthening the self help process of support, groups of 20-30 school owners are mobilized to come together as saving groups. Two groups continue with their savings, one group has started supporting members with credit from their savings. 3 new groups of schools in the goths have initiated their savings groups.
THE SECURE HOUSING SUPPORT PROGRAM
Strengthening poor communities in the goths (villages that have fast become urban settlements) to resist evictions; acquire land tenure and infrastructure development. With the cases of fierce evictions in 2006, people’s resistance was facilitated with mapping, research and advocacy. By mid 2010 there was a breakthrough, govt. approved land tenure provision for the goths of Karachi. So far 1,063 goths have been approved for land tenure, more are under process. More then 150 goths have been directly supported, while listing of the 2,173 goths, the location mapping and the detail mapping process of these goths in Gadap, Kemari and Bin Qasim towns continues. In addition is the cooperative housing saving and loan program reaching to upto 100 houses annually.
THE WATER SUPPLY PROGRAM
City wide research, advocacy and mapping, facilitating the poor settlements access to sweet water in Karachi. Research shows that daily 41% of the water supplied to Karachi is siphoned from the bulk mains. This is then sold for profit, supplied thru tankers b) Water supply provision (technical support) for the goths and c) The water supply provision in the villages in Battagram .
WOMEN’S SAVING PROGRAM
Already 42 groups have come together, with 1,371 members and Rs. 2.98 million saved. More savings groups are coming together, in Karachi and other places. Most groups have initiated loans, from the savings, for the member’s emergency needs.
EARTHQUAKE AND FLOOD REHABILITATION PROGRAMS
Following the Oct’2005 earthquake in the Northern areas of Pakistan, support for rehabilitation was initiated. In Dhirkot (AJK) and Batagram (NWFP) 3,610 houses spread over 68 villages were supported with tin sheets for roofing over a room/house with people constructing the walls. In addition 76 villages (23,810 families) were supported with pipes for the repair /replacement of water mains, while community undertook to repair/replace the distribution network. Two local organizations that evolved thru the process are now continuing with the main stream development programs.
Following the July’10 floods in Pakistan that spread 4-15 km both sides of the river Indus, that flows north to south across Pakistan, relief and rehabilitation support was initiated that continues. Thru 19 partner organizations working in villages around 2 cities and 19 towns (mostly in Sindh and Punjab provinces) support continues for 1) medicines for health centers and medical camps 2) roofing over a room/house/family 3) repair/replacement of hand pumps and 4) setting up of village schools. So far more then 99,167 patients have been treated thru the supported medical camps/centers, 13,019 houses spread over 1,183 villages have been supported with roofing while people constructed the walls/pillars of mud/bricks, 178 hand pumps for 39 villages were repaired /replaced and 18 schools have been initiated and are functional in 18 villages. In addition lately the Village Development Program has been initiated for the development of villages reached thru the rehabilitation program.