Skip to main content

Nicaraguan sugar mill develops programme to protect workers from deadly heat

by Joy Green, Jul 15
2 minutes read

Chronic heat stress – exacerbated by climate change – causes chronic kidney injury and early death for workers in Nicaraguan sugar plantations and mills. Community organisers at one particularly badly affected mill, Ingenio San Antonio, have now developed a programme to protect workers. They teamed up with scientists from La Isla Network, a specialist group set up to help protect workers from climate impacts. The programme is simple, replicable and effective: it consists mainly of drinking water, shade and rest at appropriate intervals. Rates of kidney injury are declining and the programme is being rolled out as the Adelante Initiative in other areas, including mills in Mexico.

sugar cane sticks on brown wooden table

So what

Extreme temperatures from climate impacts are costing lives and livelihoods around the world. More than 5 million people die globally every year due to excessive heat or cold, and 37% of all heat-related deaths are now linked to the climate crisis. Manual labourers around the world are in the frontlines of this crisis and when they fall sick in countries like Nicaragua this then drives child labour, as children are often forced to enter the workforce to replace the income from their affected parent. In this context, worker heat protection programmes and policies are becoming a vital consideration for adaptation and just transition thinking.



by Joy Green Spotted 37 signals

Joy is a Principal Futurist at Forum for the Future.

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Join discussion

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.