The Uganda police has warned all those operating businesses that emit loud sounds to watch out as they could face hefty fines and even prosecution in the courts of law.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga revealed that Environmental Protection Officers will proceed with serious enforcement if culprits do not voluntarily comply with the law.
Chronic noise producers who refuse to cooperate or follow the prescribed mitigation plan, shall be subjected to civil penalties, court action and suspension of outdoor amplified or acoustic music for a period. The mitigation plan may include; restrictions on days of the week, or hours of noise producing activity, structural changes, reviews, revision or termination of the plan.
This as the Uganda Police Force launched a 27 day campaign to create awareness on how to counter littering, illegal dumping and noise pollution before the enforcement of the environmental laws, regulations and protocols by 1st April, 2023.
Enanga says they have put in place environmental task teams responsible for awareness campaigns on noise ordinance violations, that are people generated or any noise that causes discomfort annoyance to any reasonable persons, residing in an area.
“And further reveal the factors that determine noise levels, like sound levels, proximity of the noise to residential or working areas, time of the day, the reason for the noise, duration and character of the noise, how often it occurs and the location will be dealt with environmental task teams”
The police has now teamed up with NEMA, Kampala Capital City Authority, UPDF, all Local Governments, NGOs, religious leaders, the business community, the transport sector, schools, the media to concert efforts and reverse this trend by turning the declining attitude towards our environment, into a more positive one, for a better environment to live and work in.
The Environmental crimes have been witnessed on the roadsides, streets, drainages, in private and public spaces, thus leading to a rise in the amount of litter dropped each year, with all types of material like plastic bags, polythene bags, food wrappers, boxes, garbage among others that is disposed of incorrectly, which diminishes the value of the natural environment in the country.
According to Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, pollution has negatively impacted the environment by choking waterways, endangering marine life, as well as native animals by polluting their food and water, and causing floods, as some litter, like lit cigarettes is also a fire hazard. The others include broken glass, syringes that is costly to the urban and local councils. Enanga has urged the public to be aware that littering is an environmental crime punishable under the law.
The Police has therefore called upon all Local Governments to get involved in the prevention of litter campaign, through initiatives like bin placement and emptying, litter patrols, street sweeping and manual clean ups, litter prevention education campaigns in partnership with local businesses, industry stakeholder groups, and private sector. Educational flyers and other advertising materials in local languages to reinforce the campaign.