Ghana EPA deploys inspectors to check noise pollution during holidays
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deployed environmental inspectors across the country to sensitise the public and enforce regulations on noise pollution throughout the festive season.
The Agency said it was anticipating an escalation in noise pollution during the yuletide, hence the move.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday, December 22, Dr Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Executive Director, EPA, said operators of bars, lounges, as well as open-space marketers who would be found culpable would be sanctioned.
He said the EPA inspectors would start the monitoring from December 23 to 31, adding that the Agency had written to the Ghana Police Service to assist them to make the exercise successful.
Dr Kokofu said electronic monitoring activities would also be deployed across the country in order to bring noise levels to the barest minimum.
“Our environmental officers will move around in town with rapid response mobility to make sure that the complaints that come to us or knowing such noise making activities would come in and address the issue.
“From tomorrow, December 23 to 31 where the activities would officially come to an end, we will intensify the monitoring and enforcement regime,” he said.
In Ghana, the permissible ambient noise set by the Ghana Standards Authority and the EPA for residential areas required that noise levels should not be above 55 decibels (dB) during the day and 48dB at night.
For educational and health facilities, office, and law courts the permissible noise level is 55dB during the day and 50dB at night.
Dr Kokofu said the EPA had identified Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Tamale as the noisiest cities in the country, with Accra topping the list.
He said the Agency had been receiving many complaints from the general public on the activities of individuals and organisations in their communities and that the EPA had continuously sensitised the public on the health implications of noise pollution.
Dr Kokofu said bars, lounges, and churches, some of whom had secured permission from the EPA to operate, sometimes went beyond the permissible noise levels – a situation he described as unacceptable.
“There are a lot of churches which have been permitted by the EPA, given the noise levels that they can run. But they do overrun either deliberately or unconsciously,” he said.
Dr Kokofu expressed concern about the activities of some facility operators who would commence operation before securing permit from the EPA.
He said such practices violated the law and served notice those persons who set up their facilities before requesting for EPA approval would be denied permits to operate.
“We are aware of the springing up of event centres and we advise the operators to first seek EP permit. Putting up the Centre before applying for permit is an illegality. We will deny them the permit and make sure that they do not operate,” he said.