Rwanda National Police (RNP) has intensified operations against noise pollution to ensure that the law as well as the rights of other people are respected, the police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege said, yesterday.
He said that public places like churches, bars, restaurants and nigh-clubs should operate within the confines of the law by implementing noise control guidelines, such as fitting sound proof materials.
Badege was speaking in the wake of recent operations where Police seized sound equipment from Two Shots bar and Isoko Imarinyota church, both located in Remera Sector of Gasabo District, over noise pollution.
The assorted electronics were returned to owners, yesterday.
“Sound should be regulated in a way that it doesn’t affect the beliefs and wellbeing of others in the neighbourhood. Rights, faith and leisure or businesses can be enjoyed or conducted in a manner that doesn’t violate the rights of other citizens,” he said.
“The law is very clear on sound pollution. Some bar and restaurants are turned into nightclubs especially at night.”
He advised them to acquire decibel – sound test masters to help them regulate their sound, and install sound proofs.
The law gives authority to any competent institution to take a decision aimed at stopping any emission of noise that is harmful to health of biodiversity, disrupts the neighborhood or damages property.
The law also partly penalises anyone who “makes or facilitates in causing noise that may disturb road users and the neighbourhood” with a fine ranging from Rwf10, 000 to Rwf100, 000.
Meanwhile, Bertin Munyaneza of Isoko Imarinyota church located in Nyabisindu village, and Faustine Mukiza of Two Shots bar, who received their seized sound equipment, promised to respect noise pollution rules.
Medical experts say that an increase in 10 decibel of sound produces noise pollution by 100 times.
The distance from a source of noise and duration of exposure determine the deleterious effects of noise on an individual. About 45 decibels may cause disturbed sleep, whereas 80 to 85 decibels sound can impair hearing.