23 May 2012

Kenya: City Church Given 30 Days Over High Noise

A church sued over noise pollution yesterday got a temporary reprieve after a judge stopped the termination of its tenancy lease in A Nairobi building.However the church, which is situated at a building called Excel Shopping Complex on Dubois Road, has been directed to take measures in 30 days to ensure the noise level is reduced as stipulated in the environmental law. "The prayer is granted on condition that the plaintiffs (pastors) will within a period of 30 days take appropriate measures to ensure the level of noise emitted from the suit premises by virtue of church activities therein does not exceed the recommended decibels permitted by authorities," said Justice George Odunga in his ruling.

His ruling arose out of an application filed by Reverend Joseph Kiilu and Pastor Esther Mueni seeking to stop the owners of the building from terminating their tenancy. The two pastorss say that they were given lease agreement to operate a church on 3rd floor of the building. The lease was effective from March 26, 2010 at a monthly rent of Sh50,000 renewable annually upwards by 10 per cent.

In the agreement the lease was to be terminated if the rent remained unpaid on the 15th day after due date. The church services were being conducted on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the evenings between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm. While on Sundays the services were held between 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. The landlord says the noise from the church service especially the one held on Wednesdays is notorious and has paralyzed the operation of business of all other tenants. It is also said that the other tenants have threatened to vacate the building with one of them making good his threat and vacating due to unregulated noise. And because there is no amicable solutions, the landlord says, he is left with no option but to terminate their tenancy.

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