Noise, Harm, the “Silent killer” and the Criminal Code

police-1The Criminal Code is very specific about the penalties for causing harm. Science is also very specific about the harm that noise pollution can cause such as death and disease, birth defects, and learning difficulties especially for children. The Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasizes that noise is a “risky health hazard and silent killer”.

Why is it then that Ghana is riddled with noise pollution? Why is it that noise pollution permeates the very life and fabric of Ghana? Why is it that many agencies fail to act? Why was it that the EPA told my wife and I lies? Why is it that the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and her deputy have never replied to my complaint about noise? Why does the Ghana Police Service fail to stop the noise pollution? Why do the churches and information centres continue to be among the greatest perpetrators of noise pollution?

Putting the specific laws about harm aside why is it that no one seems to be able to act to protect the public by enforcing the specific laws associated with protecting against noise? Why is it that the laws protecting children from exposure to danger are not applied in regard noise pollution?

The various Governments of Ghana have put into place an excellent Constitution and Criminal Code. Ghana has an excellent Police Service. Is the problem of inaction due to the fact that noise is a “Silent Killer” and no one can hear the killing and harm that is being perpetrated upon the citizens of Ghana? Is the problem a symptom of a lack of information or awareness of the harm that noise can cause? Is the public, and are the government agencies oblivious of the great harm that noise can cause?

The EPA is not oblivious of the terrible negative impacts that noise has on human health yet the evidence is clear that they have been hopeless in dealing with it.

In my view the EPA needs to be disbanded and its budget given to the Ghana Police Service so that Police can have the human and other resources to apply the laws which are already in place to protect people from the harm noise causes.

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