…vows to sanction offenders
By Muhammad Abdullahi
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has Wednesday, warned residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) against noise pollution.
The Director of the AEPB, Alhaji Kaka Ali, gave the warning in a statement by the Deputy Director, Information and Communications, Mrs Janet Pen.
Ali, in an abatement notice on noise pollution, warned members of the public against violating the directive in the FCT and Federal Capital City (FCC)
He said that the notice was, particularly to owners and operators of event centres, parks, gardens and other such facilities within the FCC and FCT areas.
He said the notice was informed by the alarming rate of noise pollution emanating from such quarters and unending complaints received from residents within the areas.
“We have been inundated with complaints of indiscriminate noise pollution from event centres, parks, gardens and other facilities in the last one year. We can no longer tolerate it.
“We are stating in very strong terms that the nuisance of noise pollution contravenes both national regulations on acceptable noise levels, and the provisions of AEPB Act, which prohibits any noise that disturbs the neighbourhood.
“This is not the first time we are issuing such notice to the public, but it appears that some people have formed a habit of ignoring them,” he said.
The director added that the board had sensitised those identified to be involved in raising the noise level beyond the minimum standard in the past.
“This is why we are issuing this final notice to them as a warning that subsequent contravention will attract stiff penalty in accordance to extant law.
“Section 21 of AEPB Act 10 of 1997, states that any person who operates a grinding machine other than in area designated for that purpose or plays music in a manner which constitutes nuisance to neighbours is causing noise pollution.
“Also, anyone who makes noise through the use of external bells, loudspeakers or produces smoke to a level dangerous to human health is guilty of an offence.
“So, such a person is liable on conviction to make payment of a fine, imprisonment or a combination of both as the case may be,’’ he said.
Ali added that there was a minimum decibel set for residential areas by National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, (NESREA).
He explained that noise pollution posed serious health risks, particularly to those who are sick, recuperating at home or elderly and infant populations.
He said that the board had received complaints from people who had developed high blood pressure and migraine as a result of noise pollution from their neighbours.
According to him, it is expected that after an individual or an organisation has been served with an abatement notice, they should comply.
“However, after being served up to two or more notices, and a recalcitrant contravener refuses to comply, the person or the organisation is taken to court and prosecuted.
“The court will issue a directive to seal-up the premises of the offender,” he said.
He urged members of the public to register their complaints in writing to the AEPB director,
“The complaint will be sent to the Environmental Monitoring Department of the board, whose duty is to monitor and control noise and other nuisance. The enforcement team of AEPB visits anywhere there is complaint.
“When it becomes a bit too intractable for them, synergy with sister agencies under the Abuja Metropolitan Management Councils and the Ministerial Enforcement Team, in a joint operation, gets the job done,” he said.