I am doing my best to sound the alarm, to blow the shofar to stop the crime. No one is listening, no one is hearing; the noise may have diseased the hearts, blocked the ears, dulled the senses, annihilated the institutions and destroyed the agencies.
The Criminal Code tells me: “Section 22—Duty to Prevent Felony. Every person who, knowing that a person designs to commit or is committing a felony, fails to use all reasonable means to prevent the commission or completing thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanour.
Section 69—Causing Harm. Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes harm to any person shall be guilty of second degree felony.
Section 72—Negligently Causing Harm. Whoever negligently and unlawfully causes harm to any person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
The silent killers are hidden in the noise yet no one wants to hear or heed my warning! The Criminal Code is clear and the Bible unequivocal.
Where are the police? I know where the EPA is, and it’s nowhere near stopping noise pollution, and probably no other pollution either. The EPA needs to be disbanded and give its budget to the Ghana Police Service. I am hopeful that police will do a better job.
Common decency seems to be in its death throes while loving your neighbour is a thing of the past! Surely we all have a responsibility to prevent harm. Will anyone head my warning? Will anyone take action to stop the noise, to protect the unborn, the children and the adults of Ghana?
From the statements below it is unequivocally obvious that noise pollution is causing harm to human health in the unborn (foetus), children and adults:
“Noise can kill” so says a report by the World Health Organization and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. “Noise has been shown to raise blood pressure and blood-borne concentrations of stress hormones and fatty materials even when people are asleep. These can accumulate over time to block blood vessels and trigger a heart attack”. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20326-noise-kills-and-blights-lives-in-europe.html#.VKol6tKUfVD
On the Government of Ghana Official Portal, Mrs Philomena Boakye Appiah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has reiterated the need for strict adherence to environmental regulations and guidelines on noise pollution for the well-being of the people. Mrs Appiah said, “research shows that noise pollution was a risky health hazard and a silent killer, which could induce hypertension and cause blindness. She said noise pollution causes irritability and indigestion and adversely affect the foetus of pregnant women”. http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/2012-02-08-08-32-47/regional/3050-noise-pollution-is-dangerous-health-hazard-epa
On another website The Regional Director disclosed “that noise pollution could cause deafness, blood pressure, indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, heart disease, mental illness, fatigue, damages in the nervous system, increased stress/ irritation, decrease in efficiency at work places, sleep interference, decreased academic performance and indirectly weakens the edifice of buildings and bridges”. http://www.ghanadistricts.com/news/?read=40349&sports
“Repeated exposure to noise during critical periods of development may affect a child’s acquisition of speech, language, and language-related skills, such as reading and listening. The inability to concentrate in a noisy environment can affect a child’s capacity to learn”. http://www.epa.gov/air/noise/ochp_noise_fs_rev1.pdf
“Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists. Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to noise-induced hearing loss”. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731102524.htm
From the Criminal Code the following excerpts appear to make it unequivocally obvious that laws are in place to prevent harm to people:
Section 69—Causing Harm.
Whoever intentionally and unlawfully causes harm to any person shall be guilty of second degree felony.
Section 71—Exposing Child to Danger.
(1) Whoever unlawfully—
(a) exposes a child to danger or abandons a child under twelve years; or
(b) exposes any physically or mentally handicapped child to danger or abandons a physically or mentally handicapped child in such a manner as to cause any harm to the child—
shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
Section 72—Negligently Causing Harm.
Whoever negligently and unlawfully causes harm to any person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour.
Nuisances and Obstructions in Streets, and the like
Section 296—Throwing Rubbish in Street.
Whoever does any of the following acts shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ¢200,000 namely—
Causing Noise in Town.
(7) in any town wilfully or wantonly, and after being warned to desist, makes any loud or unseemly noise howsoever caused to the annoyance or disturbance of any person;
Drumming, etc., in Town at Night.
(8) in any town, without a licence in writing from the Minister or a local authority beats or plays any drum, gong, tom-tom, or other similar instrument of music between eight o’clock at night and six in the morning; or
Section 298—Acts tending to disturb the peace in a public place.
Whoever in any public place, or in any place within sight or hearing of persons then being in a place, disturbs the peace by fighting or quarrelling with any other person, or by making any loud or unseemly noise; or abets an unlawful fight, or uses or applies to any other person then being in such public place or within sight or hearing thereof, any violent or abusive term of reproach, or sings any profane, indecent, or obscene song, or exposes any defamatory of insulting writing or object, or with the intention of annoying or irritating any other person, sings any scurrilous or abusive song or words, whether any person be particularly addressed therein or not or is guilty of any riotous, indecent, disorderly, insulting behaviour, to the obstruction or annoyance of any passenger or person in such public place, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ¢200,000.00.