Ighran, Morocco, Feb 6 (EFE).- The well in which five-year-old Rayan fell and died is not only a hole in the ground, but a symbol of the lack of resources in the Moroccan town of Ighran, near the northwestern city of Chefchaouen.
In the Rif mountains of Morocco, water, like electricity, is a scarce resource.
It is why Rayan’s father had decided to dig up a 60-meter deep well near his home seven years ago, before his youngest son Rayan was born. He had invested 4,000 euros in it.
“Rayan’s father dug a well, his dream was to have water and in the end his son died there,” Said, a local resident who lives just a few meters from Rayan’s family, tells Efe.
For the past four years, access to water and power has worsened.
“In our land alone, thirteen wells have been drilled, 51,000 euros have been invested and only two have given water,” Said says.
Rayan died in the well his father had dug in the hopes of finding water after falling 34-meters deep while playing Tuesday last week.
The five-year-old boy grew up playing marbles, soccer and was learning to ride a bike. He was not interested in electronic games, and cell phones didn’t interest him, Rayan’s aunts tell Efe.
He had just been enrolled into kindergarten and his father had bought him a backpack.
“He was very proud and asked everyone to call him Sidi (Mister),” Said says.
But Rayan’s schooling would most likely not last long.
Children in Ighran tend to drop out of school after primary school and many men and women are illiterate.
Rayan’s sister is 13 years old and no longer goes to school.
Why? Families are often unable to pay for transportation across the mountains to reach secondary schools, books and uniforms.
According to Said, the region needs three things: roads, health and education.
Roads leading to Rayan’s house for example are blocked during winter, preventing access to hospitals, the nearest one some 100 kilometers away.
Meanwhile, the well in which Rayan fell into has been covered with stones and the hundreds of people who attended his rescue are out of sight.
All that remains is a brick house and a clogged hole; a dream that turned into a nightmare. EFE