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Help! Noise drowns Lag

By Regina Akpabio, Seye Olumide and David Ibemere   |   12 January 2010   |   10:00 pm  

“If not for God, many Lagos residents would have been plagued with hearing impediment due to noise polution,” he said.

Daniel is not alone in his agony. A tenant, Joseph Irabor, at No.12, Salami, Oshodi, said he wonders at the number and sizes of generating sets at his veranda whenever there is power outage.

For him, part of the problem of noise pollution could be blamed on Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) due to its epileptic power supply.

“There is a big problem in Lagos metropolis. Even with the magnitude of noise we have in Lagos, PHCN is compounding the situation. There is no building now in Lagos that does not use a generating set. In some buildings such as such in face-me, I face-you, there are over 10 generating sets, which are lined up at the veranda.

“In the building where I live, there are four generating sets for each of the four flats upstairs. An overwhelming noise comes from and an industrial generating set from another building very close to my window. It is my prayer every night that PHCN should supply that tenants with light so that I can, at least, have three hours of undisturbed sleep,” he added.

For him, there is no escape from noise pollution, as a harsh and high-sounding indigenous music blares from a sound system used by record seller, greets him opposite his gate, each time he wants to stroll out.

At Oshodi-Oke, there are a myriad of generating sets on the roof of each shops at the Electronic Market used by the traders to empower their shops.

On Ikorodu Road, all the gardens on the median used generating sets to lit all the structures.

The electronic billboards all over the metropolis are not left out, as the owners empower them to advertise their products and services every moment of the day.

A resident who preferred anonymity said: “I wonder if it is possible to reduce the volume of noise in the state because people are coming up wit new innovations every day. Look at all these electronic billboards, they use generator to empower them. Most of them place it at a place behind the structure. Noise is synonymous with Lagos because of its disposition as a commercial nerve city,”

Aside generating sets, every moment of the day is chaotic for average Lagos residents due to cacophony of noise ranging from aeroplanes, loudspeakers, traders, worship centres, hooting of vehicles to industrial machines which have been the burden of Lagos metropolis.

A trader in Ikotun, Salau Bamgbose, also urged the state government to look into the activities of those that sell sound system in the state.

He said in almost every corner of the metropolis, giant sound systems are on display with high conflicting volume of music just to attract customers to the detriment of others.

According to him: “This is another way of generating noise. In almost every market, car park and on street sounds, there is a display record shops with ear-splitting music coming from giant loudspeakers, leaving the noise to travel many kilometres.

“If the government really wants to reduce noise pollution, it should caution them,” he added.

At Oshodi, a trader Folashade told The Guardian that the idea of people placing television sets on a stand with giant loudspeakers also generate noise.

When The Guardian went across the metropolis yesterday, the story was the same in Ikeja, Yaba, Ajegunle, Surulere, Mushin, Amukoko, Ikotun, Mile Two, Iyana Ipaja and even in the elitist area of Lagos Island.

For them, perhaps it is the cheapest form of advertisement they can afford.

A trader, Titi Balogun “I am not against people advertising their products or playing music but the excesses should be checked.”

In response to the far cry of many Lagosians, the Lagos State government has frowned at the rate of noise generated by some religious houses, music studios, video clubs and even companies which hawk their products and services using public address system on the streets.

The state government warned that those concerned should reduce the noise level from their activities or face severe consequences.

It noted that noise pollution is injurious to public health and should, therefore, be discouraged.

The warning was contained in a communiqu?_ issued at the weekend after a three-day workshop tagged: Performance Review Retreat organised by the state Ministry of Environment at the Peninsula Resort, Ajah.

The Commissioner for Environment, Muiz Banire, said the ministry has received several complaints from the public about inconveniences caused them by noise pollution.

He maintained: “Noise pollution has a lot of negative consequences on the health of the people such as human hearing impairment, restlessness, high blood pressure, lack of concentration, body fatigue and loss of sleep and the resultant hypertension and subsequent death.”

The commissioner added that a recent finding in some public schools showed that over 60 per cent of pupils had impaired hearing, as a result of their daily exposure to noisy environment.

 



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