NAKURU, Kenya, Jul 19 – Nakuru County on Monday issued a 14-day notice to motorcycle riders with modified exhaust pipes and street preachers to conform to noise reduction regulations or face punitive action.
The Department of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources said manipulated exhaust pipes were to blame for noise pollution within the municipality seeking to be conferred city status.
Environment Chief Officer, Kiogora Murithi said any sound or vibration that was injurious to human health would not be tolerated.
The notice requires motorcycle operators with improvised loud exhausts pipes and sound amplifying devices to remove them.
Murithi said anyone operating a motorable vessel, including cars with manipulated exhausts and sound systems will be deemed to have committed an offence.
Environmental Management and Coordination (Noise and Excessive Vibration) Pollution Control Regulations (2009) by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) state that no person shall operate motorable vessel which produces any loud or unusual sound and exceeds 84 decibels when accelerating.
The regulations were meant to ensure maintenance of a healthy environment for all people, tranquility of their surroundings and their psychological well-being by regulating noise levels and excessive vibration.
Muriithi said the County Government opted to give notice to operators of the more than 53,000 motorbike operators in region before taking action which include sentencing, payment of penalties and in some instances, impounding the vessels.
“We want restore sanity in the industry and among the private owners of these noisy motorbikes in a humane manner and that is why we held meetings with their leaders in the 11 sub-counties before issuing the notice,” he said
Muriithi said the move was pursuant to Article 42 of the Constitution of Kenya which provides that every Kenyan has the right to a clean and healthy environment.
The right includes; “the right– (a) to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures, particularly those contemplated in Article 69; and (b) to have obligations relating to the environment fulfilled under Article 70.”
Also affected by the notice are churches, street preachers and advertisers especially those using advertising trucks.