(Keep noise low otherwise, the noise will keep your hearing low.)
My residence around Dansoman control in a suburb called washing bay, where I unfortunately find myself close to a huge charismatic church operational throughout the week with huge sound and Public Address systems strategically positioned to announce their presence in the neighborhood.
Their Monday evening prayers is the most offensive as the numbers inside the church praying are less than ten (10) yet the microphone being used by such few numbers is capable of ejecting mosquitoes and insects from such an environment thoughtless of humans.
Also, an environment with enormous number of drinking bars, restaurants and eateries dotted around every corner, cars tooting their horns, trotro mates screaming their destinations, making it highly deafening for people who care and appreciate good mental health to reside and ironically, the police station is also situated in that same environment unable to maintain any level of peace for themselves and residents.
What then is the state of health of residents in this environment and can the situation be made less burdensome for toddlers and the elderly who might be battling with age related health predicaments partly related to the deafening unhealthy environment they are compelled to live in.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population suffers from disabling hearing loss. In Ghana, it’s 1.7% percent of the population, or 470,737 people.
Currently more than 1.5 billion people (nearly 20% of the global population) live with hearing loss with 430 million of battling with hearing loss.
It is expected that by 2050, there could be over 700 million people with disabling hearing loss.
A born-again Christian at dawn broadcasting reaching out to win souls
and well-being of humans is currently projected as being more severe and widespread. This is expected to deepen and continue to increase in magnitude and harnessed due to population growth, urbanization and the associated growth in the use of increasingly powerful, varied and highly mobile sophisticated sources of noise.
The possible health effect of noise pollution is numerous, pervasive, persistent and ravaging, socially and medically and has adverse effects that impairs health and destroys residential, social and working environment with corresponding real (economic) and intangible (well-being) losses.
Noise defects represent an important public health problem that can lead to hearing loss, sleep disruptions, cardiovascular disease, social handicaps, reduced productivity, negative social behaviour, infuriation reactions, absenteeism and accidents.
It can also impair the ability to enjoy one’s property and leisure time while increasing frequency in antisocial behaviour.
Noise adversely affects general health and well-being of people exposed to it and as well causes chronic stress which is capable of adversely affecting future generations by corrupting residential, social, and learning environments with corresponding economic losses as no serious entrepreneur or business group would find such environment suitable for business as it is capable of derailing productivity.
Incessant exposure to noise can cause stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and many other health problems exposing people to higher risk of hearing loss, cognitive impairment in children and unstable mental health defects.
The environmental protection Agency (EPA) is the leading civic body for protecting and improving the environment in Ghana over the past 40 years, mandated to ensure that the air, land and water are protected by everyone for a secured future generation to inherit a cleaner, healthier world with offices across Ghana working on and carrying out Government policy, inspecting and regulating businesses and reacting when there is an emergency such as a pollution incident. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) among many other functions ensure the Creation of awareness to mainstream environment into development process at the national, regional, district and community levels, implementation of environmental policy and planning is integrated and consistent with the country’s desire for effective, long-term maintenance of environmental quality, ensure environmentally sound and efficient use of both renewable and non-renewable resources in the process of national development and Guide development to prevent, reduce, and as far as possible, eliminate pollution and actions that lower the quality of life.
Also, it provides improved performance to meet changing environmental trends and community aspirations as well as encourage and reward committed staff to a culture based on continuous improvement and on working in partnership with all members of the Ghanaian community among others.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a total of 271 noise pollution complaints for the year 2021 was documented out of which Greater Accra had 176 complaints representing 61 per cent while the remaining regions had 95 complaints representing 35 per cent.
Per the rules governing the work of the EPA, it requires the public to apply to the institution for approval to allow for services that are injurious to the environment to be monitored and guided to provide a hazard-free service to ensure safety for all.
Event centers across the country are required to seek permit from the EPA before establishing facilities such as churches, food joints, eateries and others to ensure that all standardized requirements are met to protect institutions, environment and people, failure of which could lead to prosecution, outright closure or sanctions of such facilities if it exceeds the permissible ambiance or noise level required by law.
It is therefore expected that people live within the law to ensure the safety of others as captured by the famous John Stuart Mill and Abraham Lincoln that ‘‘a person’s freedom ends where another man’s freedom begins’’ for the peace, security and solace of nature.
BY: MABEL DELASSIE AWUKU – The writer is a staff of the Information Services Department (ISD)
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