BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Hon. Reginald Okun has said that the state government has secured the conviction of four persons for noise pollution.
Okun, who disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital, said, “The state government is clamping down on persons who violate laws on noise pollution in the state. We have secured four convictions, with more persons to be charged to court soon.”
Okun said it is regrettable that people disregard laws on noise pollution, noting, “This government will not tolerate any behavior that disregards law and order, or people being laws unto themselves.”
According to him, “There was a petition where someone alleged that his children find it difficult to sleep at night because of the noise in his neighborhood, only for the children to go to school to sleep during the day. It is sad how people set up external speakers and live bands outdoor, which disturb entire neighborhoods.”
Explaining how the practice is common with some religiouscentres, relaxation spots, night clubs and bars, he said, “They do all these without considering its adverse effect on the immediate environment. The standard practice for use of speakers in suchplaces, is that they set-up some form of soundproof system to restrict the sound.”
Okun said government has already set up a mechanism to warn people and sensitise them on the existence of the rules and would not treat lightly those who break the law, “The state government will not relent in warning people to desist from such practice, as we will continue to serve notices to such persons. Aside prosecution, we are focusing more efforts on sensitisationas the government takes the issue of noise pollution very seriously. People with external speakers should remove such andendeavour to do the right thing.”
On the use of siren, the commissioner said, “The state government is working with the Police Command in the state. We are making effort to get the Commissioner of Police to get people to understand the proper use of siren, which is in emergency cases. We are also reaching out to the hospital management board to ensure ambulances when ambulances should use sirens.”
Okun also disclosed plans by the state government to build sustainable structures for the development of recreation parks, noting, “The state government is planning to build structures that will make recreational parks self-sustaining. A monitoring mechanism to actualize this has been put in place.” He added that part of the plan is the development of new parks while the existing parks will get a facelift before the 2018 yuletide season.