Legislators in the Lagos State House of Assembly want the ministry of information to sensitise the public on dangers noise pollution pose to the well-being of people
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Aug 10, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Lagos State House of Assembly is charging the State ministry of information and strategy to embark on public enlightenment campaign to sensitise the public on the hazards of noise pollution. The Assembly observed that there were regulations to control noise pollution which were not enforced by the executive arm of government in the state.
The lawmakers during their plenary session recently took turns to express dissatisfaction over the menace noise pollution poses to health and the need to stem its tide in the state. Abiodun Tobun, who moved the motion to enlighten the public on dangers, decried the high level of noise pollution arising from the blaring of music by vendors, street party organisers, religious organisations and outdoor advertisers.
He also frowned at indiscriminate use of horns by motorists and cyclists on major highways in the states. “The high level of noise has become a major source of health hazard as recently raised by the Nigeria Hearing and Speech Association, NHSA, that more Nigerians are suffering from hear impairment as a result of noise pollution.
“Noise pollution has increased the risk of hypertension and other incurable diseases and must be stemmed. There is no proper enforcement of Section 9 (a) of the LASEPA Law 1996, aimed at controlling noise pollution in a cosmopolitan state like Lagos with over 15 million residents,” he said.
The Assembly, after a voice vote, passed the resolution calling for more public enlightenment. It also called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the general manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, to discharge the statutory responsibility conferred on it by Section 9 (a) of the state Environmental Protection Agency Law, 1996. The House also called on the state ministry of home affairs and culture to ensure that the use of public address systems was discouraged within the community so as not to disturb the peace and tranquillity of the citizens.
Noise pollution has become a challenge for residents in various parts of Lagos. Residents in various parts of the metropolis have to cope with noise pollution emanating from worship and viewing centres, barbing salons, record shops, promotional campaigns, ice cream sellers, commercial motorists and other business ventures. The development which has triggered some rifts in some neighbourhoods has also attracted the attention of the government.
In 2012, the Lagos State government shutdown some branches of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Mountain of Fire Ministries located in Ojo because of noise pollution. Although the churches were later reopened following the intervention of some religious leaders in the state, there was a stern warning to the pastors of the churches to reduce the noise they produce by removing the speakers placed outside their church buildings.
The warning was followed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between officials of the Lagos chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the LASEPA. In the memoranda, CAN agreed that churches under its umbrella should remove external loud speakers from their places of worship in order not to disturb public peace. But one year after that agreement, many churches are yet to comply. In various parts of the state, there are churches constituting nuisance through loud speakers placed outside their worship centres.
In May 2013, LASEPA shut down two churches and six companies over cases of noise pollution in various parts of the state. The agency shut the affected places after serving them abatement notices, which they failed to obey. The agency also embarked on a sensitisation campaign to educate people.
Rasheed Shabi, general manager of LASEPA, had in 2013 said even though many organisations were yet to comply with the directives, the agency was doing its best to solve the problem. “We have been educating and sensitising these religious houses on how they should manage noise. We went round to inform people that every area has its acceptable sound level which must be observed. For example, during the day residential areas are not to exceed 55 decibels and 45 decibels at night. As for churches and mosques, we asked them to enclose their spaces and pull down those speakers outside.”