By Osaigbovo Iguobaro Benin
Edo state government has secured the conviction of four persons for noise pollution.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability Mr. Reginald dropped the hint at an interactive session with journalists in Benin City.
He assured that more persons would be charged to court soon, adding that the state government will not relent to serve notices to defaulters of the laws.
“The state government is clamping down on persons who violate laws on noise pollution in the state. We have secured four convictions, with more persons to be charged to court soon”.
Aside prosecution, he said the government is focusing more efforts on sensitisation as the government takes the issue of noise pollution very seriously, especially people who use external speakers in worship centres.
Okun said it is regrettable that people disregard laws on noise pollution, noting, “This government will not tolerate any behavior that disregards law and order, or people being laws unto themselves”.
According to him, “There was a petition where someone alleged that his children find it difficult to sleep at night because of the noise in his neighbourhood, only for the children to go to school to sleep during the day. It is sad how people set up external speakers and live bands outdoor, which disturb entire neighborhoods”.
Explaining how the practice is common with some religious centres, relaxation spots, night clubs and bars, he said: “They do all these without considering its adverse effect on the immediate environment. The standard practice for use of speakers in such places, is that they set-up some form of soundproof system to restrict the sound.”
Okun said government has already set up a mechanism to warn people and sensitise them on the existence of the rules and would not treat lightly those who break the law.
On the use of siren, the Commissioner said, “The state government is working with the Police Command in the state. We are making effort to get the Commissioner of Police to get people to understand the proper use of siren, which is in emergency cases. We are also reaching out to the hospital management board to ensure ambulances when ambulances should use sirens.”