Churches, bars on the spot over noise pollution in northern Uganda

Churches, bars on the spot over noise pollution in northern Uganda
The loudest sources of noise in Uganda over the decades have been both human and mechanical. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGA | NMG

Lira, Uganda | URN | Residents in Lira City in norntern Uganda have decried the excessive noise pollution in the area.

They note that noise pollution from nightclubs and places of worship as pastors preach and play booming gospel music, has increased to unbearable levels and has failed them to realize basic benefits such as peaceful sleep.

Rebecca Hope Akello, a mobile money agent along Obote Avenue attributes the increased noise pollution to leaders who have ignored and disregarded law enforcement on owners of bars and churches.

Andrew Erach, a resident of Amuca Lira City West Division says that bars in the area play music to unbearable levels especially at night interfering with their right to sleep. He says that the City Council authorities should come up with ordinances to regulate the sound.

Leonard Otika, the Lira City Environment Officer says that they plan to sensitize church leaders and business owners who are operating in residential areas before taking action against them.

According to the National Environment (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, noise levels in residential areas is 65 decibels during day and 45 at night.

Read Also: Noisy churches: Pastors call for review of noise pollution regulations

It also stipulates that noise resulting from any acts such as yelling, laughing, clapping, shouting, pounding, whistling, and singing which is clearly audible in the neighborhood for more than two minutes is illegal.

Only under special circumstances may National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the local council permit the emission of noise for purposes of creating public awareness such as health matters, religious assemblies, political debates, or public hearings.

However, NEMA can reasonably issue noise emission permits with the understanding that it will not bring about public nuisance. Noise from the fire brigade, bullion vans, and ambulances, emergency to save a life is permitted by the by-law.