I was walking down a busy major road in Port Harcourt and felt my ears were going to pop. Several shops selling
pirated CDs and DVDs blared incoherent insanely loud music from large speakers set in front of the dilapidated
shop structures. Somewhere in the distance the echo of a Church’s loudspeaker loomed over the air waves. Taxis
honked impatiently and a many generating sets buzzed in frenzied cataclysm. I could barely hear myself think. Noise
pollution is an ever-growing menace in our cities today.
Copied from http://www.ynaija.com/photo-of-the-day-how-many-generators-can-make-one-deaf/ & http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/article3824932.ece respectively.
According to a JANUARY 22, 2013 Punch Newspaper article captioned “Maintain zero noise pollution, court tells church” by Temitayo Famutim:
“An Ikeja High Court, Lagos, has urged the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Chapel of Victory, Ikeja, Lagos, to maintain “zero noise pollution” while conducting its religious programmes.”
The Plaintiff, a 79-year-old neighbour, Mrs. Esther Ogunsalu, whose residence shares a common fence with the church took the church before the court for disturbing her peace. She told the court that in suit no LD/1336/2011 filed before Justice Aishat Opesanwo, that the noise emanating from the church prevents her from sleeping, and “triggers her hypertensive heart disease.”
She asked that the court declare the continuous occupation and use of the premises as a place of worship as contravention of the building and town planning regulations of Lagos State.
The Court referred both parties to the Multi-Door Courthouse, Igbosere, Lagos, for mediation where the parties adopted and signed a term of settlement dated November 7, 2012. The terms of settlement stated “That in the interest of peace and justice, parties have agreed to make peace and that the first respondent (owner and trustees of the RCCG) and the second respondent (Morawo) will maintain a zero noise pollution in accordance with Lagos State regulations and laws.” The learned Justice Opesanwo said the court would adopt the terms of settlement as its judgement.
As can be deduced from the above case, noise pollution is against the law and the earlier we all realize our right against noise pollution and enforce same, the scourge will continue.
Read more at http://www.punchng.com/metro/maintain-zero-noise-pollution-court-tells-church/
When plagued by noisy neighbours you may undertake the following steps to stop the problem.
1. Have a polite talk with the noisy neighbour. Directly address the issue without being rude. Explain briefly the noise issue, and ask the neighbor to turn down the music, create situations for the dog to stop barking, or not hold parties until 3 AM. You can also add that you realize they hear your noise also, and you’re certainly willing to try to stop anything in your behavior that is creating extra noise in their home.
2. If the noise persists, the next step would be to write a letter (keep a copy), detailing the noise. However, where the noisy neighbour is simply non-compliant with your request, you can use the follow-up letter which should state the specific grievances, and any dates when the noise was particularly worrisome.
3. If step 2. doesn’t work, speak to a lawyer for professional advice.
Note: It is more effective to get a lawyer involved from the start.
According to Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, “Noise pollution is not only an environmental nuisance but also a threat to public health.” New evidence deduced by shows that noise causes or contributes to not only annoyance and sleep disturbance but also heart attacks, learning disabilities and tinnitus. See http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-publish/information-for-the-media/sections/latest-press-releases/new-evidence-from-who-on-health-effects-of-traffic-related-noise-in-europe
Where people live closely together, there is a high likelihood of noise pollution. Consequently, we should all keep ourselves in check as change agents in the fight against noise pollution and enforce our rights when breached as Mrs. Esther Ogunsalu did, in the case discussed earlier, in order to develop our law in this regard, in furtherance of the protection of public health and maintenance of a civil society.