But in the end nothing much came of it.
T he history of sugar production has long been intertwined with that of exploitation, from the first transatlantic slaves transported from Africa in the 15th century to the reports of child and forced labour among the undocumented Haitian migrants working the sugarfields of the Dominican Republic today. Global consumption of sugar has continued to rise in recent years. According to Professor Paul Hoebink from the Centre for International Development Issues Nijmegen, 27 per cent of Nicaragua's workforce is employed in agriculture, of which more than , people work either directly or indirectly for the sugar estates.
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T he situation for workers across all affected industries is now reaching a critical stage. If this were happening in Britain or America we would have found a solution by now.
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Yet so far research has been confined to small, poorly funded projects. Although most cases of CKDu have been clustered around Central America, there has been a growing number of reports of chronic kidney disease in other tropical regions, from steel workers in Brazil to rice farmers in India and Sri Lanka.
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There are also parallels in the working conditions: extreme heat and dehydration. But in Asia the disease affects workers much later in life, in their 40s and 50s. If we can identify whether they are the same disease that might help us work out what the cause is. F or men such as Santiago, new research will be too little too late.
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He knows he will die soon, he says. His bones jut violently through his thin, papery skin, his frail body cradled in a hammock outside his hut. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page.
We've noticed you're adblocking. Polynesian seafarers first arrived on Rapa Nui, 2, miles off the coast of Chile, approximately years ago. They then went on to construct more than ahu and almost 1, moai, which are believed to represent significant ancestors. The authors of the new study , published in the journal PLOS One, sought to understand the distribution of the ahu in order to further understand their creators.
Study co-author Carl Lipo, professor of anthropology at Binghamton University, New York, told CNN: "That knowledge would tell us something about how the early people of Rapa Nui used the landscape and what they found important.
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Researchers from six US institutions isolated an eastern area of Rapa Nui, containing 93 ahu. They analyzed the natural resources near the ahu, focusing on rock mulch gardens in which crops like sweet potatoes were grown, marine resources including sites for fishing, and sources of fresh water. There proved to be no significant correlation between the location of the ahu and the presence of nearby gardens, suggesting that the ahu were not situated in order to monitor or signal control over these resources.
While both marine resources and fresh water sources were found near the ahu, the researchers concluded only the latter was significant; after all, both typically occur in the same locations and fresh water was much less widely available. The research team mapped the island -- which has no streams or springs -- for sources of fresh water.
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They discovered that it emerged from underground in areas along the coast, through a process called groundwater discharge. We'd see horses drinking out of the ocean, and it turned out they knew exactly where the fresh water was coming out," said Lipo. That explained the high concentration of moai and ahu along the coast, the researchers inferred. Inland statues, too, could be connected to fresh water: they were found to be situated near caves, or other fresh water sources.