Monday, February 11, 2008

Noisy events...

Now, that relative calm has returned to Coast Province and Mombasa in particular, weddings and other functions which involve ear-splitting noise has also resumed.

Unfortunately, these organizers and the officialdom that gives permits for these events, give little thought to the effect and disturbance their noise and by extension 'permits to make noise', cause, to the neighbourhood/s.

Our neighbourhood has a hall called Mombasa Women's Hall (MWA), which gets hired out nearly every single weekend sometimes starting on Friday evening... While for the people having the function, it's just one day, for the neighbourhood which includes two hospitals one of which is right next door to it, sharing a perimeter wall with it, suffer the racket till all kinds of hours.

One such noisy wedding started taking place there yesterday, late afternoon/evening at around 6.00 pm. Ringing the cops on their 'hotline' number of 020-3556769 (not 999 which hardly EVER gets answered), got a quick answer, but, it took numerous subsequent calls spaced over one and a half hour, to get some action!

Even when they got there and requested the noise makers to reduce the volume, which they did.... till the cops left. As soon as they departed, the volume, too, increased. All subsequent calls to the above number, while answered, went without ANY action. From the officer who was answering my calls, I found out that I was not the ONLY resident ringing them to complain! Yet, they were averse to do anything about it. Why?

This answer I got from a quite senior officer on which was given to me by another cop at Police HQ in Nairobi, which I rang, out of sheer frustration. This senior cop, it seemed, was aware of this noise even as I started relating it to him. All the way in Nairobi he seemed to know about it!!! How strange! Because, he told me that the people having the wedding (I hadn't yet told him that it was one), had a permit and that I should let them enjoy themselves as it was just one day and that they had paid MONEY for it!!!! And it was still early, yet (it was nearly 9.00 pm!), and according to him (one deduced), one can make noise and disturb the neighbourhood as long as it's not past midnight, at which time, they MIGHT take action. Are the cops and other upholders of the law deciding what time we should go to bed, now? And what about the young, the very old and the sick, especially at the hospitals?

Does this attitude mean that as long as one has the money to pay for making noise, one can break the law and to hell with the disturbance of the peace..... at ANY time - day or night?

These morons were also hooting their cars as they arrived. Probably the bride and groom as they got there. There was a time some decades ago, where, when one went to learn driving, we were told not to use the horn in residential areas after 6.00 pm and around hospitals not at all. Has that law been re-written? In fact, now we make such nightclub like noises, right outside these hospitals and residential areas.

Last week, KARA sent out a newsletter where mention was made about noisy churches and and events company (see below), in Nairobi's Karen, and where NEMA issued order to stop them doing this. Was it because Karen is a 'rich' neighbourhood while others where nobody takes any notice, are just average or downright poor?


Following KARA's intervention, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has

issued stop orders to a noisy church and an events company to stop their respective


And why are the police so insensitive? Have they not been told that it's against the law to disturb the peace AT ANY TIME? I have been told that it's one of their senior officers' who gives these permits for holding such offensive events. While doing this, can't the officer concerned also warn these people not to disturb the neighbourhood and that it's against the law and that failure to abide by this will result in confiscation of their noisy equipment?

In fact, every single weekday over the lunch hour, a small church, again, next to the Aga Khan Hospital, holds very noisy services. Writing to them and calling the police seems to have had absolutely no effect and business continues as usual. It would be an utter relief if all these noise makers including an equally small mosque would quit making their racket and realize that God is NOT deaf!!! We also pray, and, do not appreciate being disturbed while doing so.

CC The OCS, Central Police Station, Mombasa
The OCPD, Urban HQ, Mombasa
The DCIO, " "
The PPO, Provincial HQ, "
999/020-3556769 "

No comments: