The New Times (Kigali)

2 January 2013

Rwanda: Rwamagana Residents Protest Noise Pollution

Rwamagana — Residents of Rwamagana have raised concerns over the mushrooming bars near residential areas.

Emmanuel Hakizimana, of Nyarusange sector said residents are having sleepless nights due to noise pollution from bars.

Residents told the New Times yesterday that they were tired of noise from bars that play music until late hours of the night, blaming authorities for not doing anything about it.

"We are perturbed by loud music from bars...there are no modern night clubs. So, music is played in a disorganised manner by bars scattered around the town. We need quick intervention by authorities," Hakizimana said.

The residents want the bars either to reduce the noise or use sound proof gadgets to minimise noise pollution.

"There is an enormous amount of noise disturbing residents... noise is even more distressing," Hakizimana noted.

The residents are also concerned that a lot of noise comes from some Pentecostal churches.

Alex Rutagengwa, a resident said noise levels from churches are high. He called for laws that were applied to restrict such noise from churches in Kigali city to be quickly implemented in Rwamagana.

"The men and women of God are giving us sleepless nights with their noise...the churches are located between residential areas. We need protection...we all respect God but we are not happy when our children fail to sleep," he said.

The Rwamagana Mayor Nehemie Uwimana said they understand the concern of residents and said affected bars and churches would be asked to control their noise levels.

"Apart from born again churches, the issue of loud music is a new phenomenon in Rwamagana. We are used to calm and cold nights all year around...so, issues coming out as a result of change of lifestyle will be managed accordingly," he said.

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