NEMA presses on with noise law

February 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – The National Environment management Authority (NEMA) is now collaborating with the Nairobi City Council to tackle noise pollution.

The initiative will see the NCC provide more officers to monitor public places to enforce the newly passed Noise and Excessive Vibration Pollution law.

“We are going to work hand in hand with the City Council inspectorate unit to lower the level of noise in the matatu industry, errant churches, clubs and pubs having live bands,” Chief of Corporate communications manager Wangari Kihara stated.

“We are not refusing people to carry on with their activities but let them be done within the permissible levels,” she added.

She told Capital News that they expected cooperation from city residents to curb unnecessary noise.

“We definitely have to work to reducing noise levels for purposes of health,” she said.

Religious leaders had vowed to ignore the new law saying that they had not been consulted.
The Standards and Enforcement Review Committee (SERC) has ratified two new regulations on air quality and noise pollution.

The draft regulations on air pollution identify the priority air pollutants to be controlled which include Sulphur oxides (SOx), Nitrous oxides (NOx), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), suspended particulate matter (SPM), Hydrogen Sulphide (HS), Ozone (O3), Lead (Pb). There are also guidelines on odour and obnoxious smells.

The draft regulations have also set limits for ambient air concentrations and values.

Priority pollutants emission levels are given for vehicles and in particular internal combustion engines and all vehicular sources, certain industrial activities referred to as listed facilities and other sources or specific operations which are usually a nuisance to the public.

The second draft regulations ratified by SERC are on noise and vibrations. These regulations are geared towards protecting human health from the effects of excessive noise.
The regulations have designated key organisations as noise mapping bodies to develop strategic noise and vibration maps.

The two pieces of legislation have been subjected to extensive stakeholder consultations and will soon be gazetted into law, under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act of 1999.

Once gazetted, the new regulations are expected to guard against noise and air pollution, thus ensuring that every person in Kenya enjoys a clean and healthy environment.


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