OUR nation, Nigeria, is today facing a serious problem whose consequences are too grave to be pushed aside or play the ostrich game of burying head in the sand while leaving the rest of the body glaringly for everyone to see. It is that of the ubiquitous noise pollution that is now on the rising side and looking invincible if not promptly tamed.
NOISE is defined simply as any sound not pleasant or needed at any particular period. Unfortunately in our society today nobody seems to care whether you care or like the type and level of pitch you are daily expose to bear wily nily as you go about in your daily quest for normal and decent living. Today, from the home through the streets to the taxi or bus to your place of work and even places of social gatherings, our ears are being assailed with deafening bombardments from various sources, leaving you with little choice often of how to relax, if possible.
THE HOPE notes that despite the fact that noise pollution and its rising level permeates all spheres of our society, some neighbours choose to herald their “I better pass my neighbour” mentality by not only putting the volume of their musical equipment at the highest possible level at the detriments of his or her co-tenants, some of who are children, patients or old ones medically counseled to be having adequate rest and sleep from time to time. Some Nigerians are still unfortunate to have their residences close to some places of worship that daily bombard their ears with noise while “plying their trades and seeking customers”. It is as if they are competing with the erroneous notion of the louder your noise, the higher the level of patronages they will get. It is more saddening to such people when these places of worship say they are having special programmes which will amount to unpunctuated flow of traumatic noisy situation. Many had been driven away from their initial choice residence by these places of worship with noise only for the worship centres to acquire such property. What a subtle tyranny and oppression in the name of God that loves and said we should always consider others’ welfare in all we do or plan. Obviously many are misinterpreting the call to “shout to the Lord” as the caring Father could not have meant that the shouting should be done at the detriment of the innocent because He also told us in one of the books that His ears are not deaf that He could not hear our voices when we call Him in righteousness.
ON our streets, the ubiquitous mobile and static street traders as well as the food vendors are battling themselves with noise, seeking our attention, with our ears as the battle field while trying to gain our attention. Not far from them on the street, we have the musical stores and sheds also blaring loudly the new releases. Many of the vehicles are belching abnormal noisy complaints of need for mechanical attention as addition to their air pollution as they crawl the traffic in competition with their cousins, the daring “Okada” commercial motor cyclists riders who contributed their own quota of noise pollution with their fitted loudspeakers under their motorcycles. Out of foresightedness, many airports, like the Ikeja Airport in Lagos, had been sited too close for comfort in areas where the noise of planes taking off and landing is posing serious health challenges for the residents of those areas. Our political leaders herald their presences these days with noise, especially during their campaign orgies as if the noise will win them more votes than performances. It looks as if only the dead and buried are safe and insulated from the deafening madness of the nascent problem of noise pollution in Nigeria of today. Of course, many are being sent to their untimely graves through this problem that is killing people silently with uncontrolled noisy.
MANY had been killed with noise consciously and unconsciously because of the noisy environment in which they find themselves. Many people, as earlier implied in this editorial who were supposed to be sleeping along with their medications had been hurried to heaven with noisy prayers for the survival of worshippers in some religious homes. Many are compelled to their dictates of terms of worship even though you do not share their doctrines or belief.
WHO can readily quantify how many infants had their eardrums destroyed through the noise they had been subjected to? Must people continue to have their balance of rest upturned by fellow human beings in the society where survival is supposed to be for the fittest. People who go to work during the day are not allowed to rest after laboring during the day.
THE governments at various levels should put all hands on the deck because part of the works of the government is to protect the weak from the abnormal usage of power in the hands of the strong. The innocent ones should not be any longer be allowed to suffer unnecessarily from the excessive and avoidable rising noise pollution beleaguering our ears everywhere in contemporary Nigerian society.
THERE should be a law regulating the level of noise that should be allowed in religious homes if they cannot be made to ensure their places of worship are made sound proof. The various government organs and stake holders involved in town and regional planning should make sure that potential noisy places of worship are not sited near residential places.
THE staff of the Town Planning outfits should be made to be more honest and accountable for lapses observed in the approvals issued out and later found to be faulty or not conducive for human peaceful coexistence and habitation. Vehicles found to be making more noise than normal peaceful movement on our roads should be excused off the road by the Vehicle Inspection Officers with utmost honesty.
NEIGHBOURS with noisy Power Generating Plants should be enjoined to install a muffler or be reported to appropriate authorities. Okada riders, who had taken the gentleman agreement of peaceful coexistence aside should be assembled and sensitized to see reasons why they can either use their earphones, if so desperately in need of music while working or fix the time for disco to after duty at home. Our street hawking laws can be regulated by insisting that the noisy hawkers get shops or stalls where they can display their wares conspicuously without killing others with calls for patronages. Musical shops with noisy tendencies should be sanctioned appropriately to serve as deterrent to others. Government is hereby advised to relocate the shops of these musical outfits to befitting areas, preferably outside the residential areas.
NOW is the time for all, with the governments at various level being the arrowhead of the desirable quest to rid the nation of the rising wave of noise pollution in our country. This is a goal achievable with serious determination because many other nations of the world are living decently in virtually a noiseless environment where nobody oppresses the other for selfish reasons.
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