Dear Ashanti Regional Minister and Mayor of Kumasi
The health, wellbeing and futures of men, women and especially children and the unborn of Ashanti and Kumasi are suffering terribly. Harm is being blasted at them day and night, and that harm has the potential to kill them, to cause sickness, disease, learning difficulties and birth defects. The assessment of harm to human health is not mine. It comes from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Medical Science. And gentlemen, I do believe that in the Ashanti Region it is in your power to stop that harm or to at the very least reduce it substantially.
The “harm” is coming from unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise pollution which defies Municipal Authority By-laws, defies the Constitution of Ghana and breaks the Law (the Criminal Code of Ghana)!
It is my experience that the KMA Noise Control Office and the KMA Environmental Health Office is next to useless, if not totally useless, in protecting the population from unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise caused harm! If any should disagree with this then they only have to tour Kumasi and my comment will be proven by information centres, street preachers, churches, merchants, bars, funeral services, trotros and others. Also from my experience I can say it seems that many other municipal authorities are equally useless in protecting people from harmful noise pollution. Unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise pollution is endemic in Ashanti as is hypertension and diabetes in Kumasi. And guess what can contribute toward hypertension and diabetes? Yes that’s right it’s noise pollution!
The widespread, unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise pollution and harm continues day and night, week after week, month after month, year after year. I read many press declarations that the KMA authorities plan to stop the noise pollution but it never seems to happen. There is much talk but no appropriately effective action, and in the meantime men, women, children and foetuses continue to suffer!
According to the science those foetuses and children who do survive the noise probably can look forward to noise caused impaired learning and hearing which may well translate into lifelong disadvantages for them. Then there are the distractions of unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise pollution during school, homework, play, rest and sleep hours. The question has to be asked: “Are irresponsible information centres, churches, street preachers, merchants, bars, funeral services, trotros and noisy others destroying the future of Ghanaians and Ghana?”
Extremely loud deep bass sounds have become horribly common in Ghana. These set up vibrations that a person can actually feel. It is reported that lung tissue can be torn by the vibrations. I have read a report how a young man died after standing close to a deep bass speaker. The report said, “he died after complaining the loud bass music was getting to his heart”. Before the time of deep bass speakers, Adolf Hitler used air pressure to create a similar effect for torture purposes. Some armies use loud and ongoing noise to torture prisoners.
A catchcry of the KMA Noise Control Unit and the KMA Environmental Health Office seems to be; “we don’t have the resources”. I say, that is nothing more than a convenient excuse for inaction, complacency and a serious failure to meet their responsibility to protect the population. Most times I have visited the Noise Control Unit, there were a number of people sitting around laughing and joking and on one occasion the subject of the conversation was sex. A short walk away people are regularly blasted by extreme noise in Adum and Kejetia! In those areas I have noticed babies, small children and adults positioned dangerously close to blasting huge loudspeakers! For this to continue year after year is downright shameful, criminal, immoral and reprehensible (please read my post on “Noise: The Law and The Constitution”.
Please, please I beg you, I plead with you. Take immediate and ongoing action to stop the harm caused by the widespread, unnecessary, preventable, illegal and intentionally perpetrated noise pollution that would be destroying the health and well-being of many of the people of Ashanti. It is a scientific fact that people need peace and quiet as part of a regimen for good health and wellbeing.
I urge you to read my two accompanying posts which support this open letter. They are “Noise: The Adverse Health Impacts” and “Noise: The Law and The Constitution”.
With sincerity and hope for a healthier, safer and more prosperous Ashanti Region