London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

About African SNOWS

SNOWS stands for Scientists Networked for Outcomes from Water and Sanitation and is funded by the Wellcome Trust through its African Institutions Initiative. This is a fund to tackle Africa's need for more scientists.

The aim of SNOWS is to build African capacity for interdisciplinary research in water supply, sanitation and environmental health, bringing together universities from across the continent, with research active universities in the North.


SNOWS’ partners are:


  • Egerton University Kenya
  • Kwame Nkruma University of Science & Technology Ghana
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
  • Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
  • University of Gezira, Sudan
  • University of Venda, South Africa

The African SNOWS web site is one of a suite of web sites which operate within the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.


Associated Web sites at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Hygiene Central

Hygiene Central is a mouthpiece of The Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The Hygiene Centre is led by Dr Valerie Curtis and its mission is to develop and apply new knowledge in the fields of hygiene and sanitation in developing countries.

The Hygiene Centre is a thriving group within the expanding field of sanitation and hygiene, and invests heavily in developing the most effective behaviour change techniques applicable to the public health sector.

Sanitation and hygiene have recently been endorsed as being amongst the highest priorities for improving health in developing countries.


Environmental Health Group (EHG)

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Environmental Health Group (EHG) is led by Professor Sandy Cairncross and is concerned with environmental health in developing countries, focusing on the basic problems of water supply, sanitation and the faecal-oral disease cycle.

The Environmental Health Group holds that environmental interventions (measures) against these diseases are preventive and not curative. They can have a major impact on the overall quality of life.

The Environmental Health Group is home to innovative research, knowledge into use (KIU; RIP) and consultancies for a variety of funders. EHG is almost unique in its combination of engineering with epidemiology, biology, and the social sciences and its members have unusually extensive experience of the implementation and management of environmental health interventions in developing countries.

Many research centres look at environmental health interventions from the perspective of a single discipline however, as interventions such as water supply and excreta disposal may help to control several infections at the same time, interventions as practiced by the Environmental Health Group, usually have a more sustained impact than curative interventions involving health services.

Below are links to four key programmes running within the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s Environmental Health Group.


The Pit Project

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are supporting a project to research and develop new concepts for on-site sanitation in developing countries.

The project aims to find novel ways to extend the lifetime and improve the affordability of on-site sanitation, such as pit latrines. In particular the project will survey recent advances in biotechnology, to assess their application to improving this form of sanitation.

Little is known about what controls decomposition of pit contents. The programme seeks to build a solid platform of knowledge about decomposition processes and evaluate the potential of biotechnology and improved design to accelerate decomposition.

The ultimate goal is for these new solutions to be turned into affordable, sustainable innovations available on the market. As well as the health benefits of improved latrine performance, these innovations will aim to reduce lifetime cost for sanitation in an environmentally safe manner.


SHARE Research Programme Consortium

The Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) Consortium is led by Eileen Chappell (CEO) and Professor Sandy Cairncross (Research Director).

SHARE’s purpose is to ensure that new and existing knowledge is used to improve systems for sanitation and hygiene delivery.

SHARE is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and seeks directly to contribute to accelerated and equitable progress on the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for sanitation.


SHARE’s partners are:


  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
  • International Centre on Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)
  • International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI)
  • Water Aid

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