Would baby Ryan have been saved if Morocco had a solid ESG infrastructure?

February 14, 2022
Pic credit: ISMAIL TIGRI 

If you haven’t already read about it, there was a Moroccan 5 yr. old boy named Ryan who had fallen down a well on Tuesday evening 1 Feb 2022. He was taken out by the rescue team after four days. Though his body was recovered from underground he had passed away. Our hearts go out to his family.

Ryan fell down the well on Tuesday evening, while his father was trying to fix it. He was trapped more than 30 meters down the shaft. It was too narrow for rescuers to reach him. Rescuers gouged out a new trench by the side then tunneled towards him. This approach was safer than widening the well hole which could result in landslides.

The rescue team did the best they could, taking all the necessary precautions but it was a race against time which Ryan lost. Every tragedy has taught humans to improve themselves and so has this one.

We believe that our fate is written from the day we are born but could this incident be avoided? Let’s look at it from an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) perspective.


Morocco is a water-scarce country. The underground water reserves are reducing and the country depends on rain for agriculture. People use wells to get water for their personal use.

Let’s look at Morocco and the reason why Ryan’s father depended on the well for life, which eventually took away his son’s. Morocco is facing frequent and more intense droughts over the past few years. The reason? Climate change. This trend is projected to continue in future years if measures are not taken to reduce carbon emissions and other pollutants.

All of this can be improved by preserving the environment. Innovation in technologies can help the Moroccans access untapped water resources.


A similar tragedy happened in Spain in 2019. A two-year-old died after falling into a borehole in an area near Malaga. These tragedies are not only due to governance negligence but also a result of social attitudes. People need to play their part in preserving the planet and protecting their kind.

Literacy is not just acquired through formal education at schools and higher education institutes, it is a vast term. A lot of people are either illiterate when it comes to workplace safety or ignore them. Social organizations in collaboration with government departments need to educate people on topics such as workplace hazards and safety. Developing countries need more education in these terms read our latest blog on this topic. It’s up to global bodies like the UN to send necessary human capital to these countries to share knowledge and expertise. The more educated a society is about safety, the fewer chances there are of hazards.


The number one element is to take safety measures seriously. It’s up to the governments to make sure that safety railings surround wells. This was also a case of workplace hazard. The boy’s father was there to fix the well and he had brought the child with him. Authorities responsible for wells should implement restrictions on access to such places during maintenance. The rescue team had cut a huge trench near the well hole many times the size of the well. If authorities had taken into account future precautions and restricted the well hole to be dug at least wide enough for an average human to go down, it would have been easier to rescue Ryan. All of these things go hand in hand. If even one is left out it can lead to bigger disasters.

If you’re interested in starting your ESG journey and need help, you can always book a discovery call with our founder Gihan Hyde.

How can SDGs help reduce tragic losses like Ryan’s?

When it comes to ESG the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are one of the best indicators of sustainable progress. Ryan’s death could have been avoided and many others can be avoided by following the roadmap laid out in the SDGs.

United Nations SDG 11:

“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”

Under this SDG it is essential to develop new cities that are safe and sustainable. Old cities need to be redesigned according to the guidelines provided by the UN. These measures will reduce tragic incidents like Ryan’s death.

“Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”

A report by the Times of India gives an idea about the condition of infrastructure and safety in developing countries. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 a total of 561 children up to 14 years died after falling in pits and manholes. These shocking numbers are not just a matter of governance but also of a social approach to life. Illegal and improper constructions lead to such tragedies

United Nations SDG 10

“Reduce inequality within and among countries”

According to Global Finance, Morocco ranks 127 out of 192 countries for GDP-PPP. The SDG 10 of the United Nations emphasizes the reduction of inequality within and among countries.  Countries need to first allocate resources fairly among different areas within them. Major powers in the world need to focus on the betterment of their fellow human beings living in underdeveloped countries. Essential resources and human capital should be provided to developing and underdeveloped countries so they can build themselves into sustainable nations.

Global stats on water

Change in water is a primary indicator of climate change. According to UNICEF, 74% of natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related, including droughts and floods. Around 450 million children live in areas that do not have enough water to meet their daily needs. Climate change worsens water scarcity, increasing competition for water.

How can we fight climate change?

Climate change is happening right now. It is our duty to save our people and the planet. The path has been defined by governing bodies like the UN and the EU. It is every individual’s job to play their part in preserving the environment and fulfilling their social responsibility. The governments need to make laws per the guidelines by global bodies to make sure that the environment (planet) and the society (people) are sustainable.

Factors like carbon emissions, climate change, infrastructure quality, inequality, safety literacy add up to whether or not tragedies like Ryan’s can be avoided.

For more information on what ESG is please visit our newsletter archival page ESG Explained. You can also get the latest updates about the ESG world by subscribing to our newsletter.

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