Lawyer Sunduzwayo Madise has been joined by other members of the public asking if City Councils should ban deafening advertising style used through public address systems in residential areas, describing it as unnecessary noise pollution.
Madise, who resides in Zomba City where he is working as Dean of Law at the Chancellor College (Chanco) posted on Facebook of his concerns, saying he felt aggrieved having to be woken up on Thursday night around 10pm to “some loud music and a blasting voice advertising some dubious school”.
A fellow Chanco law lecturer, Edge Kanyongolo chipped in to say Wednesday night was particularly bad.
“I checked the time and that mobile advertising was doing its business around our area at 10:45pm!” Kanyongolo said.
In response, Blantyre-based Dannie Grant Phiri is of the opinion that this is noise pollution that need to be banned in all towns and cities while Silvester Kasambara Felix Tembo said Mzuzu is also becoming very notorious of the same system.
Mzondi Chirambo chipped in to say City Council bylaws prohibit such public nuisances — “therefore, it is simply a question of enforcement”.
Thyolani Jumbe Catherine said this noise pollution makes her sick sick while Robert Neba observed that the sales persons use the same deep-voiced advertiser all the time and the din is a monotonous crooning — which is extremely annoying.
Hastings Chatsika observed that this is a “reflection of deterioration of standards in Malawi”.
However, Blantyre City Council public relations officer, Anthony Kasunda, said they attempted to enforce the law by issuing a public notice to abate nuisance (noise pollution) by following Section 49 of Two and Country Planning Act and Section 49 of the Public Health Act and paragraph 4 of the Second Schedule of the Local Government Act.
This was done when some residents complained of noise in residential areas through garden events such as engagements and weddings.
But, Kasunda said, the garden events organisers went to court, which gave directions and the Council is following the steps as directed by the Court.
Blantyre City Council’s public notice addressed to all city residents said it had 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.
“It is further deplorable that this is happening without getting development permission to change use of the said premises from residential to commercial,” says the notice.
“The Council, therefore, hereby notifies members of the general public and Blantyre residents in particular, that holding of weddings, engagements and bridal showers and other public ceremonies in residential areas is prohibited.
The Council has the legal mandate to take action against those providing venues to such events which may include prosecution.”
The notice also reminded all residents that it was important to maintain peace and avoid disturbing others.
“A lot of residents have complained against the increased noise pollution in our City and it is the mandate of the Council to ensure that all the residents live in a peaceful and orderly manner.
“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.”
The Council management further warned that if any person would fail to comply with this notice, it shall confiscate the instruments being used to cause the said noise nuisance and, where the Council would do 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 the Notice and they may be prosecuted.