This project is undertaken in partnership between the Universities of Bath (UK) and Stellenbosch (RSA).

Who we are

Effective resilience-building is multi-dimensional in nature spanning several fields and requiring a holis-tic, integrated whole system approach as well as strong collaborative efforts between different stake-holders. Having this in mind we have established ReNEW as an interdisciplinary collaborative initiative between the University of Bath and Stellenbosch University  that lies at the interfaces of engineering, natural and social sciences. ReNEW connects research, policy and practice. 

We are proposing an innovative solution to current problems with rapidly identifying and responding to deteriorating public health and environmental conditions in fast developing urban environments in LMIC countries, aiming to manage risks to public and environmental health relating to urbanisation, population growth, lack of infrastructure and the overarching challenge of climate change.

We will establish a cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research capability, based on engineering and digital technology approaches, for real-time community-wide diagnostics and tuneable multi-hazard public health early warning system (EWS) with the ultimate goal of strengthening communities’ resilience. We will do this through a focus on water from urban dwellings, which reflects the health status of a population and surrounding environment as it pools the endo- & exogenous products of that population. Real-time measurement of these specific hazard biomarkers in urban water from different communities allows for rapid evaluation of public health status, prediction of future crises, and thus enables mitigation strategies to be developed for either rapid or slow onset hazards, even before they manifest themselves with characteristic endpoints (e.g. mortality in the event of pandemics). Thus morbidity and mortality can be reduced and resilience and sustainability within the surveyed urban system significantly increased.

In this cutting-edge project we will develop innovative tools for public health diagnostics and undertake a scoping study in the city of Stellenbosch to understand the requirements for the development and implementation of a multi-hazard EWS in South Africa and beyond.

ReNEW is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund