Noisy matatus detained in Kenya

December 27, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 27 – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) kicked off an anti-noise operation in Nairobi on Sunday and netted at least nine vehicles.

The operation carried out on the South B route, Buru Buru and Kariobangi mainly targeted public service vehicles, according to NEMA officials.

“We have officially kicked off the operation and we are targeting public service vehicles which exceed the required noise parameters,” NEMA’s Acting Director General Dr Ayub Macharia told Capital News.

He said NEMA had “acquired noise meters which will be used to gauge the required noise levels in the interior of the vehicles.”

“We are detaining any vehicle with noise exceeding 45 decibels that is the set limit. So far we have detained nine matatus and the operation is still going on,” Dr Macharia said.

The noise pollution law was introduced recently by Environment Minister John Michuki, but some groups of people have moved to court to challenge it.

Some religious leaders and preachers have argued the controversial law will adversely affect their activities because it bars them from using loud speakers to preach to their followers.

Some of the preachers are among people who have moved to court to challenge it.

Others had argued that NEMA has no capacity to measure the noise levels as set out in the law. But Dr Macharia told Capital News the authority is now able to implement the law, with the introduction of the noise meters.

“We now have the capacity and will implement the law to the latter, the operation will continue in various parts of the city,” he said.


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