“Thousands of Migrant Workers Died in Qatar’s Extreme Heat. The World Cup Forced a Reckoning”

Time magazine’s new spotlight story documents the health impacts of heat stress on workers in an increasingly hotter planet. Ed Kashi traveled to Nepal and Qatar on assignment for Time, supported by the Pulitzer Center, to follow the flow of laborers from countries like Nepal to Qatar, ahead of the upcoming World Cup.

Young Nepali men are often forced to labor in extremely hot conditions, with temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with 80% humidity and long hours. This has led to an increase in heat-related accidents and illnesses, including the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-Traditional Causes (CKDnt), an illness Kashi has documented through the past decade in seven countries along the global hot zones.

Despite facing strong restrictions from the Qatari government, with limited access to workers, Kashi captured through photography and videography the stresses of working in such a brutally hot place. 

Kashi hopes that the Time assignment, which includes reporting by their senior climate correspondent Aryn Baker, and his long-time friend and colleague, the filmmaker Tom Laffay, will continue to reveal the issues around heat stress on the workers of the world. 

A short documentary will also be published by Time in the coming weeks.