At least seven Disc Jockeys have been arrested over noise pollution in a crackdown that took place Saturday night in Kilimani, Nairobi.
Information exclusively released to The Standard listed the seven to include DJs working at popular clubs including Gemini, CasaVera, Jiweke Tavern, Tamasha and Cavalli.
Kilimani OCPD Andrew Mbogo confirmed the incident, noting that the police had been working closely with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) following complaints from Kilimani residents.
“It is true and the DJs will be arraigned in court early this week, the specific date subject to confirmation,” Mbogo said on a call.
The operation, dubbed ‘Punguza Muziki’ was conducted with the main aim being to reduce the levels of noise pollution within the residential area.
The arrested DJs were Bernard Kipruto from Tamasha restaurant along Argwings Kodhek road, Samuel Chamba from Gemini at Adlife Yaya center, Rich Wambua from Blackies along Argwings Kodhek road, Dan Max from Cavalli along Ngong road, Emmanuel Munezi, from Ashaki along Kindaruma, Felix Odhiambo from Casavera along Ngong road and Marvin Odhiambo form Jiweke Tavern along Karbanet.
The NEMA website states that the noise regulations provided by the government agency are aimed at “ensuring the maintenance of a healthy environment for all people in Kenya.”
“They elevate the standards of living of the people by prescribing acceptable noise levels for different facilities and activities. The Regulations prescribe the maximum permissible noise levels from a facility or activity to which a person may be exposed to; provide for the control of noise; and provide for mitigating measures for the reduction of noise,” a description of the noise regulations on the NEMA website reads in part.
It adds that the maximum permissible noise levels vary in different zones and that the rules apply even to workplaces “and do not negate the Factories and Other Places of Work (Noise Prevention and Control) Rules, 2005.”
“These Regulations prohibit the production of any loud, unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others and the environment, ” the regulation description reads.
“Any person who is likely to be involved in activities that emit noise or excessive vibrations beyond the permissible levels must obtain a license or a permit respectively from the authority.”
NEMA corporate communications manager Evans Nyabuto told The Standard that while NEMA is actively engaged in preserving the environment and minimizing pollution, arrests and implementation are a devolved function conducted by County Governments.
“It’s important to note that NEMA itself did not conduct the arrests, that was enforced by the county. But the rules on noise pollution are clearly stated on the website, I would encourage Kenyans to know them,” Nyabuto said.
He noted that the agency received numerous complaints on a daily basis, not just about noise coming from clubs and entertainment spots, but also from churches and residences.
“We are aware of the complaints, but they are frequent and not limited to clubs only,” Nyabuto said.
The noise regulations provided by NEMA are formally called the environmental management and coordination (noise and excessive vibration pollution) (control) regulations, 2009.
“Except as otherwise provided in these Regulations, no person shall make or cause to be made any loud, unreasonable, unnecessary or unusual noise which annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health or safety of others and the environment,” the rules read in part.
The regulations add that in determining whether the noise is loud and disruptive, factors such as time of day, proximity to residential area, recurrence or constant repetition of the noise, its intensity and whether it is being enhanced electronically during transmission are considered.
Exemptions include during times of emergency in order to warn others, during national celebrations or parades and if it is a matter of national safety, i.e sirens.
“Any person in charge of a party or other social event which occurs on any private or public property shall ensure that the party or event does not produce noise in a loud, annoying or offensive manner such that noise from the party interferes with the comfort, repose, health or safety of members of the public,” the rules state.
NEMA provides that where a sound source is planned, installed or intended to be installed or modified in a manner that the source will emit ‘excessive noise or vibrations’, causing the person to fail to comply with the regulations, he/she should apply for a licence to the authority.
The regulations provide that no person should use any sound-amplifying equipment that is or likely to be heard outside of any building between 9.00 pm of any day and 7.30 am of the next day without a valid license.
The license application is done to NEMA in directions provided on the site, and comes with a fee.