What is Noise Pollution?The traditional definition of noise is “unwanted or disturbing sound”. Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity.
Nowadays it is advisable to stay away from churches and mosques when looking for accommodation . This shouldn’t be the case because the church or mosque is seen as peaceful place. Imagine you can’t sleep because every night a school park near your house is being taken over by a mass of people who hold all night prayer service .Noise pollution has engulfed every corner of the city, with increasing siting of churches in residential areas.
We interviewed some people about noise pollution from churches and these were their responses:”the bible says we should make a joyful noise to the Lord hence I don’t see any problem with making noise in church”. Some people said that although they are being disturbed by churches in their community,they cannot complain because it is the work of the Lord. Others complained that sometimes they are branded as evil because they complained to the churches about noise making.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the body enforced by the government has set out guidelines that come with permissible ambient noise for all areas. Reports from the Accra West Regional office of the EPA shows that 80 % of complaints received at the office are noise complaints made against churches. Before any church operates they need to get a permit from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly(MMDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). A church can qualify for an EPA permit if they fulfil the following requirements :zoning status of the location shows it is meant for worship; the church is operating in a noise proof building ;the church has consulted the immediate neighbours and also sign an affidavit not to make noise above the permissible noise level permitted in the area.The MMDAs are also responsible for dealing with noise pollution but are handicapped with noise measuring equipment and logistics to carry out such investigations.
If there are guidelines for the construction and operation of churches then why is there so much noise pollution?
We are all part of the solution, that is to educate our pastors, friends and family members to stop making noise and live at peace with our neighbours.
Noise pollution is a nuisance an we need to take action now!