Kampala residents have celebrated a court ruling, which slapped a fine of 20 million Uganda Shillings on the fancied Emin Pasha Hotel in Kampala’s suburb of Nakasero, after an elderly resident in a nearby house filed a complaint over too much music and noise.
In the past, many Kampaleans have unsuccessfully tried to stop churches from blasting sermons and songs from speakers from the early hours of Sunday and open air discos playing tunes at mega decibels until the wee hours.
In most cases, complaints led to nothing but aggravation for the complainants, costing them nerves, time and money with no tangible results to show for, leading in some cases to violent confrontations or even, or so goes the grape vine, sabotage on power lines and equipment to for once enjoy a sleep in on a Sunday morning or a peaceful night’s sleep.
The hotel was also ordered to comply with the court ruling within 14 days and stop any activities in the future which could result in neighbourhood disturbance, while the Executive Directors of the Kampala City Council Authority and of NEMA were ordered to strictly enforce council bylaws and regulations vis a vis noise pollution across the city, and that not being enough, provide court with regular updates on how the regulations are now enforced.
City residents have taken fresh hope now that with this ruling in place – though there appears still the option of an appeal – they will at last be able to have their own complaints dealt with under the same ruling, compelling city and NEMA enforcement units to crack down on illegal open air discos, restaurants and bars making too much noise at night, beyond opening hours.