IYS 2008 - International Year of Sanitation 2008

International Year of Sanitation 2008 - THIS PAGE IS ARCHIVED AND NO LONGER UPDATED

Since the early years of the 20th century, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been concerned with the effects of poor sanitation upon health. Through the years, various champions of the benefits of improved and appropriate sanitation have worked at the School. They have promoted a research sector that has had to vie with more ‘funder-sympathetic’ projects.

During 2008 we would like to show you a few of the contributions that individuals and groups within LSHTM have made to the development of current thinking in the sanitation sector, and finally how we would like to proceed from 2009 onwards.

Every month we will be adding another chapter to our story so dont forget to come back!

History of the London School of Hygiene’s involvement in the study of Sanitation issues

Part One

“Great is sanitation; the greatest work, except discovery, I think, that one can do … What is the use of preaching high moralities, philosophies, policies and arts to people who dwell in appalling slums? You must wipe away those slums, that filth, these diseases … We must begin by being cleansers.”

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932)

Since the early years of the 20th century, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been concerned with sanitation, and the effects of poor sanitation upon health. Through the years, various champions of sanitation related research have worked at the School. A few of these people and some of their interests and activities are presented below.


Up to ca 1950

  • 1929 - H.H.Clay appointed to the Division of Public Health as a full time lecturer on domestic sanitary engineering.
  • 1930s - course of lectures on the chemistry of water and sewage purification added to the Diploma in Public Health specifically for the students of Tropical Hygiene.
  • 1930s - first documented instance of sanitation research taking place at the School refers to a student who was a ‘research worker’ undertaking an investigation into the activated sludge process of sewage treatment.
  • 1930s - collaboration between A.F.B. Standfast (Division of Bacteriology) and W.R.Woolridge (Chemistry) on a study of the mechanism of sewage purification with special regard to the ‘activated sludge’ process.
  • 1930s - O J Macdonald was an advocate of the aqua privy, and promoted their construction particularly in Zambia. As a result, a considerable number were built in that country and elsewhere in Africa and Asia.
  • 1933 – In December the Ross Institute combined with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • 1947 - Chair in Tropical Hygiene created.

References

  • Wilkinson, L & Hardy, A (2001) Prevention and Cure, Keegan Paul
  • Wilkinson, L & Power, H (1998) The London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical medicine 1898 – 1998 British Medical Bulletin, 54 (No.2), pp281-292

Acknowledgements

Professor David Bradley provided valuable information relating to the early days of the Ross Institute and the transition period to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as we know it today.

Professor Sandy Cairncross provided information on early sanitation ‘wisdom’ as well as highlighting those from within the Ross Institute and LSHTM who had significant impact in promoting water, sanitation and health as related issues.

The LSHTM archive catalogues were also a useful source of information. To correct errors or make enquiries please contact us.

History of the London School of Hygiene’s involvement in the study of Sanitation issues

Part Two


ca 1950 – 1979

  • 1950s – creation of a joint lectureship with Imperial College to support an inter-collegiate diploma course in Public Health Engineering
  • 1974 – David Bradley appointed director of the Ross Institute at the London School. This began a long period of collaborative research with the World Bank into health aspects of excreta and wastewater management.
  • 1976 - Richard Feachem appointed lecturer in Public Health Engineering and Hospital Administration (joint post with Imperial College and the Ross Institute). He succeeded Graham Don in the post, who wrote environmental health legislation for newly independent countries.
  • 1976 – Richard Feachem undertook a large evaluation project of village water supplies in Lesotho, Southern Africa.
  • 1976 – Sandy Cairncross joined the Ross Institute, assisting Richard Feachem with preparation of the books arising from the work in Southern Africa
  • 1976 – 1977 – Richard Feachem persuaded the British Overseas Development Administration to commission an evaluation report on the Lesotho programme. This began a tradition of funding research in the guise of evaluation studies and consultancy.
  • 1976 – 1977 – Richard Feachem and Sandy Cairncross also produced two Ross Bulletins on Water and Sanitation – No 8 Small Excreta Disposal Systems and – No 10 Small Water Supplies. Sandy Cairncross also worked on the text of Engineering Health in the Tropics.
  • 1978 – The extensive study in Lesotho resulted in the publication of Water, Health and Development by Tri-Med Books (ISBN-10: 0905402065), London and an evaluation manual which was later published, with financial support from the International Water and Sanitation Centre IRC, DELFT, as 'Evaluation for Village Water Supply Planning' (ISBN-10: 0471276626).
  • Late 1970s – Sandy Cairncross worked on water and sanitation projects in Mozambique.
  • Late 1970s – Richard Feachem and Duncan Mara (University of Leeds) persuaded the World Bank to fund work on low cost sanitation. – Richard Feachem and Duncan Mara were key players in the low cost sanitation project proposed by John Kalbermatten (World Bank Water Supply & Sanitation Advisor) through funding obtained from the United Nations Development Programme UNDP. This was the forerunner of the current World Bank Water and Sanitation Program WSP. – Richard Feachem and Duncan Mara produced an influential series of manuals as part of the World Bank Technical Papers. These manuals became an important resource.

References

  • Weiss, C (2006) ‘Science and Technology at the World Bank, 1968-83’, History and Technology 22 pp81-104
  • Wilkinson, L & Hardy, A (2001) Prevention and Cure, Keegan Paul
  • Wilkinson, L & Power, H (1998) The London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical medicine 1898 – 1998 British Medical Bulletin, 54 (No.2), pp281-292

Acknowledgements

Professor David Bradley was invaluable in providing information relating to the early days of the Ross Institute and the transition period to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as we know it today.

Professor Sandy Cairncross provided valuable information on early sanitation ‘wisdom’ as well as highlighting those from within the Ross Institute and LSHTM who had significant impact in promoting water, sanitation and health as related issues.

The LSHTM archive catalogues were also a useful source of information.

To correct errors or make enquiries please contact us.

History of the London School of Hygiene’s involvement in the study of Sanitation issues

Part Three

“Great is sanitation; the greatest work, except discovery, I think, that one can do … What is the use of preaching high moralities, philosophies, policies and arts to people who dwell in appalling slums? You must wipe away those slums, that filth, these diseases … We must begin by being cleansers.”

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932)

Since the early years of the 20th century, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been concerned with sanitation, and the effects of poor sanitation upon health. Through the years, various champions of sanitation related research have worked at the School. A few of these people and some of their interests and activities are presented below.


ca 1980 – 1999

  • 1980 – With financial support from the International Water and Sanitation Centre IRC in Delft, Netherlands, the book Evaluation for Village Water Supply Planning was published by John Wiley, Chichester.
  • 1980s – The demand-led sanitation model – An example from Burma at this time showed the impact created by the water and sanitation manuals (World Bank Technical Papers) written by Feachem and Mara. U Myint had overseen a programme of latrine building in Burma resulting in several hundred thousand pour-flush and VIP latrines being constructed in the first few years of the project. Unusually for the time, the programme was demand-led, providing an extremely early example of this sanitation model.
  • 1981 – 1990 – The United Nations International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade. – The preparation for this initiative came out the collaboration between the Ross Institute at the School and the World Bank in carrying out projects for the UNDP.
  • 1980s – Richard Feachem worked with the WHO diarrhoeal control programme, and with them conceived the idea of a series of systematic reviews of measures to prevent diarrhoeal disease.
  • 1983 – Sandy Cairncross and Richard Feachem’s work from 1976 – 1977 was finally published by John Wiley, Chichester as Environmental Health Engineering in the Tropics.
  • 1983 – Richard Feachem; David Bradley, Hemda Garelick and Duncan Mara’s book Sanitation and Disease. Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management was published by John Wiley, Chichester. This work covered the vectors of disease.
  • 1989 – Richard Feachem appointed Dean of LSHTM. With his training in civil engineering rather than medicine, the appointment was considered an indication of the degree to which the School viewed its responsibilities in sanitation in a developing world.

References

  • ‘Science and Technology at the World Bank, 1968-83’ History and Technology 22 pp81-104 Weiss, C (2006)
  • Prevention and Cure, Keegan Paul Wilkinson, L & Hardy, A (2001)
  • The London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical medicine 1898 – 1998 British Medical Bulletin, 54 (No.2), pp281-292 Wilkinson, L & Power, H (1998)

Acknowledgements

Professor David Bradley was invaluable in providing information relating to the early days of the Ross Institute and the transition period to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as we know it today.

Professor Sandy Cairncross provided valuable information on early sanitation ‘wisdom’ as well as highlighting those from within the Ross Institute and LSHTM who had significant impact in promoting water, sanitation and health as related issues.

The LSHTM archive catalogues were also a useful source of information.

To correct errors or make enquiries please contact us.

Need More Help?

Thank you for printing this page, we hope that it is of use. However, should you need further assistance please dont hesitate to search the site using our search box when you're on the site or alternatively mail us at ehg.temp@lshtm.ac.uk

Back to Top -Print This Page

Keppel Street,
London WC1E 7HT
Tel: +44 207 927 224
Fax: +44 207 636 7843