Noise Pollution: The Lagos State Government has banned the use of amplifiers, megaphones and other sound-amplifying equipment at motor parks.
It said residents have a right to live in a noiseless environment.
At a joint news conference, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Toyin Fayinka said defaulting parks would be shut, owners of the noise-generating object would be arrested while repeat offenders risk jail.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Omobolaji Gaji lamented that despite its seemingly unharmful pose, noise pollution make up 75 per cent of complaints received annually.
He added that the complaints are mostly anthropogenic, and not limited to transport, religious, commercial, industrial, entertainment, among others sources.
He said: “Noise pollution is the major leading public complaints received by the agency, ranging from the transport sector, religious, commercial and entertainment industry, domestic animals, and power generators among others.
“Adults are believed to be the only ones susceptible to problems associated with noise pollution but, children, are also quite vulnerable, more so as there are no known visible symptoms at the early ages.”
General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dolapo Fasawe reiterated that it was illegal for motor parks in Lagos to use sound amplifiers and other noise-making devices to call passengers.
She said any park found doing so would face the wrath of the law.
According to her, Section 177 of the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017, prohibits the use of a public address system or loudspeaker to solicit passengers or advertise the sale of goods at parks, markets and public places.
Fasawe reiterated that the accepted level of noise in the day is 55 decibels and 45 at night for residential areas, 70/60 for commercial areas, and 85/65 for industrial areas.
She added that anyone found flouting the directive would be sanctioned.
Consultant in the ‘Noiseless Lagos Project’ Prof Ade Owolawi lamented about 8.5 million Nigerians suffered hearing impairments due to excessive exposure to noise pollution.
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He added that a test conducted at a motor park showed that 17 per cent of drivers and conductors at the park suffered severe hearing impairment as a result of the noise level.
About 13 per cent had their ears blocked with wax.
They could however not trace their challenges to noise pollution until the test.
He thus described moves by the Lagos State government as necessary and important to prevent a greater calamity.
Following suit, the Ogun State Ministry of Environment has warned religious organisations and relaxation centres across the State to desist from any act that can cause noise pollution within the environment.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Hon. Farouk Akintunde during an enforcement tour to Sango/Ota and its environs, saying any erring organisation would be sanctioned.
Akintunde, in a statement signed by OGEPA’s Press Officer, Mrs. Busola Morakinyo, reiterated that the Prince Dapo Abiodun’s led administration would not condone infringements on the rights of citizens, maintaining that every religious organisations must operate in compliance with the laws of the constitution.
He enjoined residents to lodge complaints to the Ministry whenever the need arises for a swift response, saying “religious organisations within residential areas should maintain 60-degree decibel noise level during the day and 40-degree decibel at night, organisation that defiles this rule will be prosecuted accordingly”, he said.
The Special Adviser while addressing founder of a church who had been served an abatement notice on the effects of noise pollution on the mental health of residents, pointed out that the noise pollution could cause high blood pressure, hearing loss, mental health disorder, deprive residents of sound sleep, among others.
Responding, a Pastor and one of the residents in the area, Benjamin Ekanem, and Mrs. Bukola Musoro respectively, applauded the State government for the sensitisation, promising to comply with the regulated laws of the State and ensure that worshippers and residents did not infringe on each other’s rights during religious activities.