The county government has purchased gadgets to control noise pollution in the county in the wake of complaints from members of the public that some business premises were emitting excessive noise.
Speaking during the handing over of the two noise measuring machines to the Directorate of Environment in Lodwar, County Executive Committee Member for Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Chris Aletia issued a stern warning to all individuals and businesses operating in Turkana County of dire consequences if found emitting noise that was deemed to be beyond the permissible limits.
“It will not be business as usual because the Ministry has acquired two units of fully calibrated sound meter machines with the ability to detect noise pollution in measurable levels,” said Aletia.
Aletia noted that his Ministry had received numerous complaints from residents and visitors about the excessive noise around residential areas and urban settlements.
“To ensure immediate usage of these machines, we have called all our Environment officers from the ward level for training. The team will be trained for two days on what is expected of them in respect to enforcing noise pollution controls at their areas of jurisdiction,” he said.
According to CEC Aletia, noise is recognized in law not only as a nuisance but also as an environmental and health hazard.
Aletia said existing laws equally classified excessive vibration as hazardous and called upon the community to report anyone exposing them to such hazards so that appropriate action could be taken.
Speaking during the same event, the County Director for Environment Clement Nadio said the new devices would aid the county in prosecuting noise nuisance at a court of law owing to the ability to present verifiable evidence against known international standards of permissible noise limits.
Nadio said the device is a very well-engineered tool fitted with the necessary equipment such as microphones, capacitors and signal processing display area adding that the device was submitted to Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs) for appropriate calibration as required by law before its use.
He further directed all Environment officers to include noise pollution control as part of their deliverables and ensure that it was done as part of their routine duty.
While appreciating the superb engineering qualities of the newly purchased devices, Eng. Anderson Maina from KEBs noted that the county had demonstrated its resolve to comply with Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2007 as well as Noise and Excessive Vibration Act of 2009.
Eng. Maina lauded the county for ensuring that the package was supplied with the appropriate user guides as well as training of its intended users as one package.
By Peter Gitonga