'Kill' The Noise - Mahama Ayariga

Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) on Wednesday called for collective efforts to “kill” noise pollution in the country as the environmental consequences of excessive noise are enormous.

   “Excessive noise is a pollutant and it is clearly a serious national issue that affects everybody. It causes stress, affects our health, create cardiovascular diseases and interferes with children’s learning abilities,” Mr Ayariga stated.

   The Minister who was speaking at a National Noise Awareness Day programme in Accra, said entities like the church and mosque as well as our neighbourhoods, lorry stations, and the streets continue to pollute the environment with noise levels that are not regulated.

   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with MESTI organised the event which also coincides with the International Noise Awareness Day, to create awareness of the menace of noise and to sensitise the public about the necessity of creating a quiet environment.

     It was on the theme: “Noise Kills so kill it.”

     International Noise Awareness day was launched in 1995 and observed on the last Wednesday in April every year to raise awareness among the public of the issue of noise and the risks it poses.

    Mr Ayariga said on daily basis, people continue to create excessive noise without knowing the implications of such acts and directed EPA to partner the town and country planners, the municipal, metropolitan, district, authorities as well as the private sector to educate and enforce regulations and guidelines on permissible noise levels.

    He said EPA could also partner the private sector to acquire equipment used to measure noise levels so that they could go round the communities to measure noise…“They should be bold to arrest and prosecute offenders.”

   The Environment Minister also urged the media to hold politicians to book during the political season and demand that they do their campaigns within the permissible noise levels.

   He also asked planners to conscientise and enforce the regulations in the building codes that state how to site generators in homes, offices and various places and to prevent emissions from affecting people.

   Mr Daniel Amlalo, EPA Executive Director said the observance the annually Noise Awareness Day by EPA is a critical component of the various activities to raise the national consciousness about excessive noise and its impacts on people’s well-being.

   He said EPA has over the years taken steps to control noise in the environment through public awareness and education programmes and campaigns, development of permissible ambient noise level guidelines, as well as engagement of various umbrella groups to discuss ways to reduce noise.

    He said this year the Agency would intensify the education on permissible levels of noise in churches, schools and in the community and later enforce compliances on noise regulation among the citizenry in collaboration the private sector and non-governmental organisation.

    Mr Amlalo urged churches to acquire acoustics in their premises to help reduce noise levels while advising the public to avoid making excessive noise  that have so many health effects on people.