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Hoteliers say noise law a threat to business as Nema stays mum

BUSIA
By | January 28th 2010

By Ernest Ndunda

Hotel owners have protested against the new law on noise pollution, saying it is a threat to business.

Owners of restaurants and entertainment places at the Coast said the tourism industry stands to lose millions of shillings if the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) insists on implementing the law.

TOO LOUD: A Nema official checks the noise level in a matatu.

"Our product in entertainment industry is music and it is impractical if local and foreign tourists are denied this while on holiday," said their chairman Walter Reif.

Mr Reif requested Nema through the Ministry of Environment to zero-rate tax on imported sound-proof equipments.

"As much as we would like to comply with the Nema rule on noise pollution, they should consider that the tourism industry stands to lose greatly, which would lead to loss of jobs," he said.

Reif spoke at a stakeholders meeting presided over by Coast Nema Director Isaiah Kyengo at Kahamas Hotel.

Must obey

Last week, Nema officials arrested several entertainment operators in Mombasa and Mtwapa for allegedly playing loud music.

However, Mr Kyengo insisted the law must be obeyed, adding they would continue to enforce them.

"You must make your discos sound-proof to ensure the music does not interfere with the rights of your neighbours," he warned.

He added: "Some entertainment places are within residential areas, and they need to be different from commercial and industrial zones."

He challenged them to be more innovative and invent new technologies of "arresting noise" in their premises.

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