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Noise making constitutes more than 60% of complaints to Ministry of Environment

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Excessive noise making in communities constitutes over 60 percent of complaints received by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST).

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Deputy Minister of MEST, who noted this on Wednesday, said the sources of the noise mostly emanated from night club operators, drinking bars, religious activities, musical shops and had become a source of worry to those who lived within such communities.

Dr Boamah addressing participants at a Noise Awareness Forum for Stakeholders, cited weaknesses in the enforcement of bye-laws of the EPA as the major obstacle in the excessive noise making in the country.

The forum, which attracted religious leaders, traditional leaders and hoteliers was organised to sensitise them on the effects of noise making.

He noted that the Ministry was working with its agencies to convert the national ambient noise guidelines into enforceable standards.

Dr Omane urged excessive noise makers such as religious bodies, night clubs and drinking bar operators to invest in acoustics to minimise noise making in their vicinities.

He said the Ministry was developing the needed capacity building programmes to ensure successful prosecution of offenders.

“The nature of the problem requires that we act in a concerted manner to ensure strict enforcement and compliance with the laid down noise standards and bye-laws,” he added.

Mr Daniel Amlalo, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), called for a stop to excessive noise making due to its health implications.

He noted that in 2006, the Agency acquired 15 Quest Precision Sound Metres for all the regional and some district offices of the EPA for effective sound monitoring.

“Workshops were also organised to train staff on noise levels measurements, monitoring and interpretation of results,” he said.

Mr Amlalo said the Agency had over the years undertaken public education on environmental and health problems associated with loud noise which could lead to permanent loss of hearing.

He noted that over 90 per cent of sources of noise in the country could be prevented as they were generated by human activities.

“How can we allow just 10 people in a community to disturb over 2,000 people because they want to worship God when they could do so without using public address systems. The same applies to those peddling cassettes and CDs on our streets,” Mr Amlalo added.

Dr Emmanuel Kitcher, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, noted that excessive noise could not only cause permanent ear impairment, but could also lead to cardio vascular diseases, increase in heart beat, mental illness and sleep disturbances.

Source: GNA

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