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Sunday, 02 April 2023
KCCA threatens to close down places of worship, entertainment, responsible for noise pollution

KCCA threatens to close down places of worship, entertainment, responsible for noise pollution

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has threatened to close and revoke trading licenses of bars, entertainment venues and places of worship which have “defiantly” continue to emit noise beyond the permissible levels in the city.

In a statement, the authority said it has noted with concern that various places of entertainment and worship continue to emit noise beyond the permissible levels despite notification of the regulations.

“The proprietors and managers of entertainment facilities are hereby informed that KCCA will take immediate action against any facility found contravening the National Environment (Noise standards and Control regulations), 2003,” the statement read in part.

Some of the enforcement measures according to the KCCA shall include; closure of facility, revocation of licence, confiscation of tools and prosecution of offenders.

The authority further explained that it will not renew trading licenses of bars and entertainment places which have ever been issued with cease-and-desist orders, stop notices; and have “defiantly” continued committing this offence.

“All proprietors and managers of places of entertainment and places of worship are hereby notified to manage their sound levels in accordance with the regulations,” it said, noting that failure to adhere to the noise standards and control regulations is an offence.

KCCA believes that it is the duty of the owner of a facility or premises to use the best practicable means to ensure that noise from the said facility or premises does not exceed the permissible levels.

Over the last few years, noise pollution has become a matter of growing concern. With increased densification, people are finding themselves in closer proximity to each other, a trend manifested by the increase in mixed land use areas as well as development of apartment blocks on what were previously single unit premises.

Noise issues are evident in some residential areas affected by excessive noise ensuing from places of worship, bars, nightclubs, construction sites, and increased urban pressure has also led some people to reside in highly commercial areas that were previously residential.

The National Environment (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, 2003 defines noise as, “any unwanted and annoying sound that is intrinsically objectionable to human beings or which can have or is likely to have an adverse effect on human health or the environment.

Noise pollution therefore means the release of uncontrolled noise that is likely to cause danger to human health, or damage to the environment.

In this case, the law defines it as noise if it is clearly audible at a point of reception or in the neighbourhood for more than two minutes or is within the prohibited time in a residential area or noise control zone as determined by the local council.

 This includes: yelling, laughing, clapping, shouting, hooting, pounding, whistling and singing; selling or advertising by shouting or outcry or amplified sound; operation of any equipment in connection with construction; detonation of fireworks or explosive devices not used in construction:

Operating any auditory signalling device, including but not limited to the ringing of bells or gongs and the blowing of horns or sirens or whistles, or the production, reproduction or amplification of any similar sound by electronic means.

 Noise also includes operating or playing a radio or musical instrument or any electronic device or group of connected devices incorporating one or more loudspeaker transducers or other electro mechanism, which is intended for the production, reproduction or amplification of sound. 

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