Noisy neighbours face crackdown in Blantyre city – Official

Blantyre city authorities say they are working to embark on a drive that seeks to stop the residents from making noise in residential areas without their approval.

Director of Leisure, Culture and Environmental Services for the Blantyre City Council Sylvester Mitini-Nkhoma says this follows complaints they have been receiving from some residents of various townships about noise that comes from bridal showers , birthday parties, kitchen top ups and wedding ceremonies that are held within residential areas.

“The bylaws governing pollution in the City of Blantyre say that we are not supposed to produce noise in public places unless permission is granted by the Blantyre City Council. And as such we are receiving complaints about the sound and music from residential units and we are also are aware of such practice, so we will be taking them to task,” says Mitini-Nkhoma.

Mitini-Nkhoma:Noisy neighbours who make their fellow residents’ lives a misery are to be targeted

He says the city council officers will first of all set off on sensitization campaign educating the residents about the city bylaws on noise pollution.

“We will be going around the townships and locations telling people that it against the city bylaws to produce music in places that are not permissible”.

But critics say the city authorities are likely to lose the battle on noise pollution as the bylaws do not specify sound level limits for various areas considering that the city council does not have equipment to measure sound levels.

But Nkhoma says despite the lack of equipment for measuring sound levels they will still make sure that their mission is accomplished.

“We must win the battle whether sooner or later. The fact is that turning of residential units to arenas for playing music is illegal. So as long as the issue is illegal no matter how long it takes we must stop it and we must ensure that our residential areas are free from noise and that people have the chance to enjoy their time in their units,” he says.

Nkhoma also told the Voice of America that the city council plans to discuss and “find a common ground” with Musicians Association Malawi officials over artists who are violating legislation on noise pollution by using loudspeakers along city streets to advertise their music.

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