Six remanded over noise pollution as NEMA intensifies operations

Six people have been arrested and remanded as the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has intensified operations to deal with rampant noise pollution in the country.

In the latest exercise that commenced on Friday June 24, 2022, the six who were taken to court for prosecution on Tuesday June 28, 2022.

Two suspects including Edward Mukisa and Herman Ssebunje were arrested for running, Nkumba Miracle Centre that is notorious for noise pollution in spite of several warnings from NEMA to control the noise from their premises and continuous complaints from the community in Bendegere LC1, Katabi sub-county, Wakiso district.

The two have been charged with failure to undertake an environmental and social impact assessment; engaging in activities that result in or aggravate pollution; discharging and emitting pollutants into the environment; failure to implement regulatory measures, orders, notices and environmental easements as required by the National Environment Act No. 5 of 2019.

They have been remanded until July 12, 2022, when their bail application will be heard.

In a separate case, the proprietors of Hide Out Bar and Lounge in Kololo, Sisay Beruke, Tigsti Melkamu and Steven Ssetumba, have also been remanded for two weeks over noise pollution.

In another incident, Yasin Abdallah was arrested for operating an illegal metal fabrication workshop, infamous for inconveniencing the community at Kazo-Lugoba Parish, Nansana municipality and failure to comply with a stop order.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in court and was remanded until June 30, 2022, when the matter shall come up for hearing and bail application.

NEMA urges the public to remain vigilant and report all cases of noise pollution.

“We further urge local governments to only issue operational licenses to entities that have the structures, ability and technology to contain the sound emitted from their respective premises,” NEMA says in a statement.

The law

Pollution of the environment (noise or otherwise) is a criminal offence as stipulated in Section 163 of the National Environment Act, No.5 of 2019. A person who commits a pollution related offence is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years, or both.

The law requires that establishments such as places of worship, recreational and production activities either submit project briefs or undertake environmental and social impact assessment to enable relevant authorities to guide their operations. This is in an effort to ensure that aspects of the environment, including noise, air and water pollution are not compromised.

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