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General News
EPA prepares noise guidelines as it curbs rising noise 4/16/2007
Accra, April 16, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has prepared noise guidelines for various zones as it takes action to stop increasing noise levels in the country.

The zones cover residential, commercial, light and heavy industrial areas, it said in a statement issued in Accra to mark the Second Noise Awareness Day, which falls on Monday.

EPA said other measures included investigation of complaints to ensure compliance, education and awareness creation on noise through the institution of National Noise Awareness Day. This year''s National Awareness Day is on the theme: Control Noise, Protect your Health.

"As we mark Noise Awareness Day today there is a need for District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies to adopt EPA ambient noise guidelines and incorporate them into their bye-laws," EPA said in the statement signed by Dr Johnson Boanuh, a Director.

EPA said repeated exposure to noise was hazardous, as studies had shown that noise, like any other stressors, impacted negatively on the physical as well as psychology of individuals and communities which, if not checked, could lead to serious consequences in the long run. The statement said in order to make the service of the EPA available country-wide and to curb the ongoing noise nuisance, it had procured 15 noise metres for its regional and district offices at a cost of three billion cedi for monitoring purposes.

"The assemblies are entreated to procure noise metres to augment the efforts of the EPA to ensure effective compliance monitoring and enforcement at the community level," the statement said. EPA noted that noise nuisance in urban areas had become a problem to city authorities as well as regulatory bodies and victims. The major sources of noise pollution include tooting of car horns, religious activities with the indiscriminate use of electronic equipment, naming and funeral ceremonies.

Other commercial activities that create noise include operation of drinking bars, nightclubs and restaurants, music selling shops, corn mills, electric generators, block manufacturing and other industrial activities in residential areas.

EPA noted that a more recent and disturbing phenomena were vendors of cassettes, VCD and DVD who ply their trade in moving vehicles with huge loudspeakers blaring loud music.

The statement noted that EPA had been overwhelmed with noise nuisance complaints and as such the need to positively address the menace to safeguard the health of victims.

EPA said it was necessary to implement the EPA Act (490) to improve and enhance the effectiveness of the Agency and the District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies in the enforcement of rules on noise pollution.

It said as preventive and precautionary measures, the public was to inform neighbours before hand if the need arose to undertake noisy operations that might affect them, co-operate when asked by a neighbour to reduce noise and to remember that one''s pleasure could lead to a neighbour''s distress.

In addition EPA cautioned people not to play music at a level that would offend a neighbour while generators should be located strategically and possibly fitted with silencers so as not to disturb. EPA called upon all District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies, traditional, community and religious leaders to use various media to educate the public to live and transact business with as minimal level of noise as permissible.

It also called on all law enforcement agencies and regulators to use their constitutional powers to control noise to protect the health of people.

"As Ghana celebrates 50 years of independence under the theme: ''Championing African Excellence'', there is a collective responsibility on all citizens to control noise, protect our health and ensure wholesome existence in this period of our Golden Jubilee celebrations," it said.



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