NEMA focuses on noise pollution

August 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has said that it will ensure noise and air pollution regulations that came into force in two months are adhered to.

In a statement, the Authority said it would work with government institutions including Local Authorities, the Kenya Roads Board, the Physical Planning Department in the Ministry of Lands, Kenya Railways Corporation to make strategic noise or vibration maps. Others involved are the Mines and Geology Department, Meteorological Department, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.

“Each mapping body will make a noise map indicating noise levels. The noise maps will be reviewed every five years. Mapping bodies will be expected to develop action plans, to control noise levels and protect silent zones,” read the statement released on Wednesday in part.

The statement further indicated that failure to comply with these regulations would lead to a fine of not more than Sh350,000 on conviction or an imprisonment of up to 18 months or both.

Exemptions to these regulations include excessive noise to alert the public about an emergency, police or fire vehicles or ambulances.

“The regulations provide schedules of permissible noise levels which must not be exceeded,” NEMA said.

The Police, Provincial Administration and Local Authorities will continue to issue permits for parties and social events and the planned use or installation of public address systems and amplifying equipment that would exceed permissible noise levels will be licensed by NEMA.

The application fee would be Sh200 and the license fee Sh2,000. The license would be valid for seven days.

“Permits for fireworks, demolitions, firing ranges and specific heavy duty industry will be issued for a period up to three months at a fee of Sh5,000, with an application fee of Sh500,” NEMA said.

The environment body said the regulations were meant to protect human health and the environment from the ill effects of noise and vibrations.

The provisions of these regulations include general prohibition of any loud, unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise or vibration that annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers comfort repose, health or safety of others and the environment, control of excessive sound from sound amplifying devices in buildings, vehicles, and other places, control of noise from parties and social events, control of noise from hawkers, peddlers, touts and street preachers.

It also prohibits loud and unusual sound from motor vehicles, control of noise and excessive vibration from construction, fireworks, demolition, mining or quarry sites.

NEMA held a consultative meeting with faith based organisations a week ago. Some religious organisations were opposed to the regulations saying they would curtail their freedom of worship.

However in the meeting it was agreed that the new laws would just ensure that worship activities were undertaken with a sense of responsibility for those not involved or not wishing to be involved.

Following deliberations on sections of the new law, all parties agreed to meet again in a month’s time to follow up on recommendations made during the meeting.


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