A few days ago, the Lagos State Government reportedly shut down 53 churches, mosques and hotels over noise pollution and environmental nuisance within the state. Some of the worship centres had contravened the law and were constituting a nuisance to their neighbours because they had converted residential residences to places of worship.
Sigh. The irony of being a religious body and breaking the law.
Anyway, below is a statement from Engineer Rasheed Shabi, the general manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), who had received several complaints from residents and neighbours of these worship centres:
“In recent times, most of the petitions kept coming back to us. It was as if we are not working at all. That was why we shut the premises. You cannot have makeshift structure and say you want to be conducting services or vigil there. Definitely, you will be disturbing your neighbours. So, the government won’t allow the use of makeshift facilities as a church or mosque. Nobody is allowed to make noise above 55 decibel during the day in the residential area and only 45 decibel is allowed in such area at night. In the industrial areas, 90 decibel of noise is allowed during the day while the noise rate must not exceed 80 decibel at night in such areas. The compliance level is increasing. More residents now understand the effect of noise. Some of the religious houses are also complying with the noise pollution regulations,”.
I, for one, am glad about this development because it is indeed such a nuisance. I have experienced it several times and it is very upsetting when you have had a long day at work and hope to get to your house to rest only to have some people banging away on drums with their speakers turned up so loudly that you feel like running away from your own house. If only we had a government that was big and keen on proper planning from the onset. There is no way approval should have been granted for religious houses and club houses to be opened within residential areas. Alas, here in Nigeria, almost everything goes.
I am however pleased that the petitions were raised and got the attention of the necessary people.