Noise is an underestimated threat that can cause a number of short- and long-term health problems such as disturbance, cardiovascular effects, and poorer work and school performance, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
In Ghana, the permissible ambient noise set by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for residential areas required that noise levels should not be above 55 decibels (dB) during the day and 48dB at night.
The Obuasi office of the EPA, in an attempt to clamp down on noise pollution, has met with leaders of churches in Obuasi.
The purpose of the meeting was to educate them on the environmental impacts of noise pollution.
The Principal Programme Officer of the EPA in Obuasi, Joseph Amoakoh Addai, emphasized the shared responsibility of environmental management.
He said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Obuasi is committed to collaborating with stakeholders, engaging in regular conversations, and addressing challenges.
He reiterated the resolve of the Agency to educate their stakeholders on best practices for environmental management, and implement some of the ideas shared at the end of the meeting.
“We will continue to provide solutions to the challenges that your activities cause, and we look forward to working together to protect our environment.”
The EPA has identified noise pollution as a significant problem in Obuasi and Ghana, and it poses a threat to public health while also resulting in losses for the nation.
As a result, Mr. Addai said they have announced that those involved in activities that contribute to noise pollution must regulate their activities and maintain good relationships with their neighbours and comply with the law.
He was optimistic that the sensitization workshop will enable the churches comply with the laid down regulations on noise and will also enable them obtain permits for their churches.
“During the last Christmas period, EPA monitored numerous activities in Obuasi, including religious activities. I want to clarify that the agency is not solely focused on religious activities, but all activities that could cause noise pollution. Our goal is to increase awareness of the importance of avoiding noise pollution to protect public health. Additionally, the agency would take legal action against anyone who refused to comply with the rules to ensure the nation’s continued development.”
Sharing his opinion on the key takeaway from the meeting, a participant, Pastor Akwesi Owusu Agyeman, the Head Pastor of Heaven City Chapel, Obuasi, expressed gratitude to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Obuasi Municipal Assembly for organizing the meeting.
He stated that pastors are obliged to protect God’s creation and that the EPA had educated them on the effects of noise pollution and the steps they could take to prevent it and protect the environment.
He called for more of such meetings like this to educate them on how to operate their activities without polluting the environment.