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On behalf of the 550 odd children attending the Macandrew road school, we emphatically protest against farther delay in tbe cleansing and covering in of the ditch that runs down the road within a yard or two of the school fence. A more dangerous nuisance could not exist. Stagnant water is to be seen month in and month out in that part of the ditch that skirts the Chinaman's garden to the west of the school; and this in itself is objectionable, as liable to pollute the air in warm weather. But at the point where the school fence commences the nuisance assumes an aggravated form, and in its whole length from the western fence to the box drain at the South Dunedin boundary the ditch is the storing place of motionless semi-fluid filth measuring over a yard wide and from six inches to a foot in depth. The stench of this accumulation of nastiness is strong enough, as the saying goes, to knock a horse down; what its potency may be as the nursery of fever germs cannot even be guessed. To the lay understanding it seems little short of a miracle that ere this we have not had to report a disastrous epidemic of typhoid in the neighborhood. Were the children at all predisposed to disease there would be a frightful mortality among them before long. This is our opinion after inspecting, this famous ditch. If experts can be found to prove us in the wrong, or guilty of exaggeration, we shall be much mistaken. Into the cause of this serious state of affairs it is not our duty to inquire. It may be stated that the School Committee are ceaselessly representing the matter to the Education Board ; that the latter body, who have no control whatever over the matter, are willing to come to an agreement by which the ditch sball be covered in at the joint expense of the Board and the two suburban councils in whose boundary road the nuisance exists, the Board contributing a third of the cost; and that there is a further complication as to responsibility, in that the Board have not acquired the property right up to the road, there being a strip between the Board's fence and the ditch. We cannot apportion the respective degrees of responsibility; but we do say most distinctly that all who are in any way chargeable owe it to these defenceless children to endeavor to come to some understanding without delay. We would suggest arbitration if no other means are possible. But something must be done, and that at once, if those concerned are to be held morally guiltless of manslaughter should the weakest of those 500 odd children fall a victim to the diseases that must be lurking in their environment

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Bibliographic details

THE MACANDREW ROAD DITCH., Evening Star, Issue 8047, 25 October 1889

Word Count

THE MACANDREW ROAD DITCH. Evening Star, Issue 8047, 25 October 1889