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When it comes to noise-making, it appears that some Nigerians are uncouth. Most do not realize that making so much noise is not tolerable, and that it is illegal. Who will blame them when it is apparent that authorities responsible for the control of noise level are doing absolutely nothing about it.
The people, therefore, exacerbate noise making with impunity and without regard to the convenience, well-being and health status of their neighbours.
In other countries, noise making is viewed seriously. This is why in Europe, for instance, mere rowdy argument often results in police arrest. Next door neighbours would immediately dial police numbers and report about noise disturbance. Matrimonial disagreements resulting in shouting matches have put many in those countries at risk. This is why exuberant Nigerians there often fall victim of their noise pollution laws.
Apart from individuals and small groups of happy-go-lucky locals doing merriment, churches, faulty vehicles, markets, parks, street parties, music shops, etc, are few of the sources of noise pollution in city centres or residential neighbourhoods.
In most parts of Nigeria, there is preponderance of religious organisations, especially churches. And these are indiscriminately located without regard to residences. To the founders of churches, for instance, the more their churches situate closer to city centres where there are thicker populations the better for them.
That is why on one street, there could be found as many as seven different churches all with the same Christian belief and teaching. It does not matter whether each has five or less members. But all of them almost simultaneously would play their band sets and blast their loud speakers at deafening decibel, to out-sound the others.
Imagine what those living next to these churches or mosques suffer daily as they conduct their worship. Several of these now run their churches daily.
As a result of this continuous high pitch noise, it is certain that if the neighbours bother to check their health condition, they would be shocked at the extent of damage or harm the unwanted, harsh and loud sound has done to their health and ear drum.
Like the religious organisations, commercial music shops are also everywhere in our neighbourhood. They also compete to market or advertise their wares, at the highest decibel, in order to attract customers. The owners of these music shops are unmindful of the negative impact of their business on the neighbourhood. Their concern is just to make money.
Individuals who also buy this music go home to play it at such high level of sound that their next door neighbours would complain no end. This kind of discomfort brought disagreement between hitherto good neighbours like 50-year-old Williams Tim Umoh, a shop owner, and Effiong Anderson, a bachelor and music lover.
As if this is not heart rending enough, some residents do not also help themselves. Despite claims of economic difficulty, a great many stage one form of party or the other every other weekend to celebrate deaths, marriages, new babies, official promotion or political success.
They would hire live bands, orchestras or traditional dancers to perform and even play overnight. They would block the streets for several hours, inconveniencing neighbours in the process. As if this is not damning enough, they would litter the entire neighbourhood with leftovers food, plastics, leaves, polythene bags etc.
Motorists, especially the commercial truck and taxi drivers compound the plight of fellow Nigerians. In addition to the hooting of their horns randomly and mindlessly, the thick fume from their exhaust is another major source of worry. The irritating sounds from the rickety vehicles also harm the health gradually not to talk about the environmental harm.
A combination of these has considerably dampened and drained the energy and health of the people.
Continuous blaring of music at odd hours and loud religious worship at such high pitch is terribly injurious to the health of the people.
There should be no pretence about this anymore as there should be no fear of speaking against this by the affected people. We rather do a disservice to God by not being bold enough to challenge these churches. The concerned authorities ought to pay heed to the cries and lamentation of victims.
There should also be law against private power generating plants owned by individuals because they not only emit poisonous gases, fumes and other pollutants into the atmosphere but their noise level is bad enough.
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