Is Noise Pollution The Next Big Public Health Crisis In Lagos?
By Jude Chukwuemeka
Prof. Ishaq Akintola @IshaqAkintola - Founder and Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
On Sunday 17th November, Vanguard reports that the Lagos State Government, through the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, (LASEPA) sealed off eight religious outlets comprising Mosques and Churches across the State for persistent environmental pollution and disruption of peaceful co-existence of residents of the State. This came on the heels of the commemoration of the 2019 United Nations International Day of Tolerance, marked on Saturday, November, 16th.
Some of the axes sealed include: Orile Agege, Ketu, Lekki, Ilaje Bariga, Elegunshi, Abule Oja Yaba among others.
Recall that in August 2016, government shut down about 70 churches, 20 mosques, 10 hotels, pubs and club houses in order to reduce high noise levels.
Noise, according to research is a pollutant with effects on multiple aspects of physical and mental health. It threatens one’s quality of life when it affects sleep and conversation. Noise exposure has been linked with cognitive impairment and behavioural issues in children.
It's been reported that hearing damage and other problems caused by excessively loud sound are increasingly common worldwide.
In 2014 during Babatunde Raji Fashola tenure as governor of Lagos, the first horn-free trial happened in Lagos and the first in Nigeria. Then, the use of car horns was banned for one day to raise awareness of noise pollution. Lagos State over the years has vowed to make the city noise-free by 2020.
In 2016, LASEPA general manager Bola Shabi, at the time said noise levels in Lagos had been reduced by about 35%.
LASEPA has said no hiding place for any religious/worship centres that cannot operate within the ambit of the law else there will be penalty. Do you see this reawakening sense of actions in other States?
Prof. Ishaq Akintola says the problem of noise pollution in Lagos is really terrible. He refers to waking up in the morning to someone standing at corners and bus stops shouting, mosques, and churches all make noise. This predicament starts for religious people in the evening to night time.
“When you don’t allow people to sleep, you’re killing them. When you don’t allow students to sleep, you’re ruining their academic lives, including the lives of your own children. Our children are performing below standard sometimes because churches and mosques are shouting in the night.
“Is the pastor going to write the answers for them? Is the Imam going to write the answers and make them pass their exams?”
Comments from Nigeria Info FM Lagos, also refer to other sources of noise in Lagos, such as generators, neighbours who play loud music through home theaters and others.
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Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry), alongside Gbolahan Olojede
Want to report noise in your area? Go over to http://lasepa.gov.ng to report #noisepollution in Lagos