Sanitation in Orangi Town, Karachi

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WaterAid/ Sibtain Haider

Orangi Town – among Asia’s biggest slums – was deprived of basic services for many years until, in 1980, local people set up an organisation called the Orangi Pilot Project to help citizens improve their streets, connect their houses and lanes to city utilities, and install 72,000 household toilets.

The organisation has laid around 1.3 million feet of sewer lines and one man, Muhammad Abdul Qadir, estimates he was involved in 75% of that work. “Now, the wastewater flows directly to the main sewerage line. So, a lot of people have benefited and are at ease now.”

Excavation in Orangi
WaterAid/ Sibtain Haider

Gone are the murky open sewers which once blighted this community. The residents of Orangi, most of whom make a meagre living and are trying to escape a life of poverty, value the vital work done by people like Muhammad.