Bar owners in Kampala face arrest over noise pollution

Bar owners in Kampala face arrest over noise pollution

Bar owners and managers risk arrest if they fail to control noise emissions from their premises to permissible decibels.

The warning was issued by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at the start of a sensitization against noise pollution in the city.

Peter Ssetenda, the KCCA officer in charge of noise control told bar owners that the National Environment (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, limit noise levels in residential areas to 65 decibels (dB) during the day and 45 dB at night.

Ssetenda the ongoing sensitization meetings are meant to build the capacity of bar owners and educate them on noise pollution regulations. He was speaking at a sensitization meeting held at Lubaga Division headquarters today.

Ssetenda says that the regulation empowers environment inspectors of divisions, municipalities and other local government units to seize any property or instrument likely to cause emission of noise if the confiscation would restore serenity in the area.

But bar owners’ faulted KCCA for granting licenses to people who want to start clinics in areas already congested by bars. They added that it is increasingly becoming difficult for them to differentiate between residential and commercial areas.

Ssetenda appealed to bar owners to always inquire from KCCA division officers on areas designated as commercial or residential adding that some secure licenses for restaurants but end up starting bars and clubs.

He also advised bar owners to invest in Sound Level Meter (SLM) and noise dosimeters in order to be able to measure noise emitted from their premises.

“For us, we don’t come and arrest, we come and first measure your noise, send you warning letters before coming to arrest and impound music systems. I urge to buy the machines. They are not expensive,” Ssetenda said.