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10.09.2021 Letter

Open letter to Hon. Henry Quartey

By Awula Serwah
Open letter to Hon. Henry Quartey
LISTEN SEP 10, 2021

Hon. Quartey - Greater Accra Regional Minister,

Eco-Conscious Citizens thank you for your efforts to restore sanity to Accra.

We note that you have tried to put an end to unlawful construction, and are also enforcing the law on upkeep of frontages. Ideally the frontage of buildings should be greened to combat climate change and to beautify. Paving, unless eco-friendly material is used, does not give much room for water to seep through and also increases heat. We complain that Ghana is becoming hot, but are we surprised when we insist on felling trees and paving compounds and frontages?

We urge you to turn your attention to the noise pollution pandemic, which is blighting lives. All the measures being taken to protect our health and combat Covid work best if the citizenry have a strong immune system. Unfortunately stress from noise pollution is damaging our health and weakening our immune system.

In some parts of Accra a typical day can start at about 4.30am with a loud Muslim call for worship, as if the call was being made from one's bedroom. The law clearly states that there should be no noise before 6am. Even Saudi Arabia is restricting the volume of loudspeakers at mosques. Loudspeakers are to be set at 1/3 of their maximum volume. The Islamic Affairs Minister is reported to have said: “Those who want to pray do not need to wait for the call to prayer. They should be at the mosque beforehand.”

The noise pollution is followed by dawn preachers shouting as if God were deaf and causing a nuisance. Then we have the 'borla' or rubbish collectors continuously playing a loud, irritating tune to attract customers, instead of using more appropriate ways. Surely in the 21st century, there are improved ways of announcing rubbish collection? What about using mobile apps such as WhatsApp to announce the collection times?

Areas should be mapped out and all house owners and landlords should have evidence of who collects their rubbish. The rubbish should be put out on specific days. There is no need to cause noise pollution and disturb the whole neighbourhood because one is collecting rubbish.

The noise pollution continues with traders playing loud music from loudspeakers on their vehicles to sell their goods. Then there is noise from badly tuned vehicles and motorcycles with mufflers deliberately removed, churches, drinking bars, and social events in open spaces, some of which go on until the early hours of the morning.

Esteemed retired surgeon Prof. Lade Wosornu has warned that loud noise can kill. He adds: “Therefore, the matter is settled. Noise is more than an annoyance. Noise is a hazard to public health. We underestimate to our collective peril the harmful effects of noise, toxic noise and maddening noise."

To underscore the gravity of the problem, we have copied below some comments from persons suffering from the noise pandemic at https://www.modernghana.com/news/1100631/the-noise-pandemic-will-end-if-we-enforce-laws.html

Akora Kyei

Someone once said he thinks Ghanaians love noise because everywhere you go, noise pollution follows you. Ghanaians shouldn't and cannot love noise pollution due to it's health implications...

The only vaccine for the noise pandemic is the Enforcement Vaccine

Nana

Excellent article, which clearly details all the key points in this issue. But one additional threat to the health and well-being of residents bombarded by Noise Pollution is the impact on MALE FERTILITY! Did you know that the noisemakers in your neighbourhood could be ruining your marriage?! Threatening the stability and unity of your home with infertility issues?!

Research has shown that noise pollution puts the body in a heightened state of anxiety, that forces an abnormally high production of cortisol. In males, this overproduction of cortisol diminishes and depletes sperm production!

Your noise-making neighbors are not only 'killing' you (with hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, potential heart attacks) but they are also killing future generations of your family. Sobering thought.

There is no verse in the Bible that justifies killing your neighbours with noise, and any 'church' that continues to do this holds its neighbours in unGodly contempt.

The laws against this evil must be enforced, to prevent residents from taking those laws into their own hands.

Noise pollution: the greatest, yet most preventable, threat to the health and well-being of any nation

VR5

This call for awareness is a much needed action.

There can be no progress in society if there is excessive noise everywhere one goes and at all times of the day.

Ghanaians must begin to realize it is everyone's right to enjoy peace and quiet after a hard days work.

Sadly religious groups as well as event centers are the Most prolific culprits.

The authorities have the power to easily curtail such activities.

They should do their job.

Joan

I have the same problem at where I live in the Western north region Adabokrom District. There is this church called African Faith Tabernacle that makes noise deep into the night and as early as 4:30 am I went to plead with them to reduce the noise because it gives me severe headache and shock and they turned me into their topic of preaching. I complained and someone said God will curse me. Seriously noise pollution needs to be dealt with because it drives me insane and after a stressful day, I can't even rest all in the name of church. The law must be enforced because people are abusing their rights and I flinging on others right to peace of mind.

Evelyn

Indeed this 'cancer: needs to be cut out. In my neighbourhood, the churches and street food vendors are incessant with their noise. It's so unhealthy.

Esi

I had a similar experience when from 5pm on 24th December 2020, to 3am on December 25th, a drinking spot in my neighbourhood played music so loudly that you could feel the vibrations beating heavily within your chest; your head was throbbing for the entire period; and none of us could sleep, even though we shut all our windows.

Messages and appeals to the owner, as the music went on and on, yielded no response.

The year 2021 has only seen an upsurge in the noise-making in the neighborhood. Early morning preachers ply our streets, night time preachers do same, peddlers drive past announcing their wares with loudspeakers and bells. And this is a residential area.

How do our children study in such conditions? How do the aged and the ill find peace to recover from their ailments? How do we, as breadwinners, recuperate after a hard day's work?

Why are we left to suffer this onslaught with no one to come to our aid?

Kobina

An outdoor container bar/club called Greens Lounge opened in my neighborhood in Tema Community 8 and 9 junction. This is supposed to be a green belt and Assembly point in case of emergency for this residential neighborhood. these people start playing loud music in a residential neighborhood from 10pm to 4am Thursdays to Mondays. Giving kids, senior citizens and pregnant women awake. The residents all feel helpless as they have nowhere to turn to.The municipals/local government in Ghana aren't fit for purpose. One really wonders whether they do anything other than be on government payroll. The lack of discipline in our society is mind-boggling. Kudos to the authors of this article and their guidance on addressing this Greens Lounge outdoor noise pollution problem...

What I would give to have Rwandan president rule Ghana for only 6 months and see the transformation.

Olivia

EPA has a lot of work to do.

Pubs and food takeouts are springing up in every neighbourhood and it seems loud music is the only tool they use in getting customers.

It's just crazy.

Education on the effects of noise pollution should be a matter of concern and urgency to the authorities. They need to act NOW!

Yours sincerely,

Awula Serwah
Eco-Conscious Citizens founder

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