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County sets a raft of measures to control noise pollution within Thika CBD

A photo of Kwame Nkrumah Street Thika whose traders were singled out as the most notorious in noise pollution.  

Following numerous complaints by residents and traders about too much noise pollution especially within the Thika Central Business District (CBD), Kiambu County Government (KCG), through the Department of  Water, Environment & Natural Resources, has set a raft of measures to control noises emitted by business premises, churches and clubs.

In a stakeholders' meeting chaired by the Director of Environment  Mr. Patrick Theuri, it was resolved that all traders must regulate the level of noise they produced and none should exceed the maximum decibels (dB) allowed by law and for commercial areas, the decibels should not exceed 45dB.

The meeting singled out Kwame Nkrumah Street as the most notorious in noise pollution with the players involved disregarding the rights of neighbouring businesses affected by the noises they produced. There was also the concern of those using such promotions of blocking the road, other people's business premises and also overlapping other people's reserved parking without their consent.

Theuri clarified that the issuance of noise pollution permits was not an automatic licence to infringe on the rights of others, thus could be revoked any time if the beneficiaries were found to have abused these privileges.

He said that a survey conducted by his officers last week revealed that 53% of those who played the loud noises did that illegally as none had applied for the same. The director noted that this practice denied the county government of over KES. 80,000 in revenue daily, translating to about KES. 30 million annually.

He added that even though they were not about to curtail the rights to advertise and conduct business promotions, his office would henceforth regulate the licencing of noise pollution to restore order within the town and promote a conducive business environment.

Among the resolutions passed during this stakeholders meeting include:-

- All noise permits will henceforth be issued by only authorised officers from the Department of  Water, Environment & Natural Resources

- All environment officers should wear their job identification cards at all times when on  duty to avoid masqueraders calling themselves environment officers and going round harassing the traders.

- All noise pollution permits MUST be displayed in the premises licensed for to avoid transfer of the same to other people.

- The Department of Environment will conduct a sensitisation forum for all players in order to craft a road map on the way forward. The dates, venue and time will be communicated to traders beforehand.

- The Director of Environment will discuss the issue of promotions with the Planning Department and other relevant departments within the sub-county to avoid conflicts at work.

- Traders and residents can air their complaints directly through the office of the Director of Environment in case of infringements of their rights or harassment by any officer purporting to enforce the law on noise pollution.

Those present included officers from the sub-county environment office, officials of the Thika District Business Association (TDBA) led by the chairman Alfred Wanyoike and senior officials from Safaricom PLC.

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