Blantyre City Council has with immediate effect banned holding of wedding, engagement and bridal shower ceremonies in residential areas.
The council says in a statement that the move “is aimed at curbing noise pollution in residential areas”.
This comes two years after Director of Leisure, Culture and Environmental Services for the Blantyre City Council Sylvester Mitini-Nkhoma told Nyasa Times that the council has been receiving complaints 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.
According to BCC Public Relation Manager, Anthony Kasunda, the Council has noted with great concern the increase in the number of houses being turned into arenas for public ceremonies such as weddings, engagements and bridal showers in residential areas contrary of zoning of the same as residential areas under the Urban Structure Plan of the City of Blantyre.
Blantyre City residents have been complaining against the increased noise pollution in the City and according to Kasunda, it is the mandate of the Council to ensure that all the residents live in a peaceful and orderly manner.
“It is further deplorable that this is happening without getting development permission to change use of the said premises from residential to commercial.
“The Council has the legal mandate to take action against those providing venues to such events which may include prosecution,” said Kasunda.
He therefore reminded the general public that the “City belongs to all of us and therefore it is important to maintain peace and avoid disturbing others”.
“The Council is, therefore, hereby banning holding of public ceremonies such as weddings, engagements, bridal showers and other public functions of a similar nature in residential areas with immediate effect.
“And further take notice that if any person fails to comply with this notice — the Council may confiscate from him the instruments being used to cause the said noise nuisance and, where the Council does so, it may recover as a civil debt, in any court of competent jurisdiction, from that person or persons , the expenses necessarily incurred by the Council in enforcing this Notice and he may be prosecuted by the Council,” said Kasunda in a statement addressed to Blantyre residents and copied to the Malawi Police Service.
But critics argued that 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :