The noise has become unbearable Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
March 28, 2002

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THE noise nuisance problem has been around for quite some time and while several prominent individuals and organisations have voiced their concerns about this menace, there is yet to be introduced a comprehensive campaign to stamp it out.

A notable and encouraging step in moving against the problem was the recent campaign against the `boom boom' (big music) boxes on mini-buses operating the public road transportation system.

Some errant drivers still have these boxes tucked away in their vehicles and would let loose every now and then, especially while moving through a quiet neighbourhood late at night.

The `boom boom' problem has, however, been drastically reduced much to the relief of the travelling public and society on the whole.

But the noise nuisance is still prevalent in many other forms - people still play loud music in residential areas, and fetes and Bar-B-Qs are held anywhere at the whims and fancies of the organisers.

This often results in unbearable noise from blaring music sets.

And then there are the food carts around the city - the proprietors seem to have a monopoly of certain corners blasting music unhindered, sometimes even in the presence of the police.

Apart from being unlawful, the production of excessive noise has terrible effects on the sense of hearing and the emotional composure of people.

Medical experts have long pointed out the deleterious effects of noise on people, especially their hearing. This in turn reduces the ability to learn, especially in children, because hearing is a key element in the learning process.

Noise also significantly contributes to stress which results in many instances in irrational behaviour which in turn leads to dire consequences in the society.

The disco owners in certain parts of the city have long turned a deaf ear to pleas from the police, officials and others to tone down or build soundproof places of entertainment for their patrons so that the peace of their neighbours is not disturbed.

There is need for this problem to be expeditiously tackled or Guyanese may end up being a nation of deaf and semi-insane people.

It was therefore heartening to note that at the recent annual Police Officers Conference, Police Commissioner, Mr. Floyd McDonald touched on the issue and actually gave specific plans that have been prepared to deal with the problem.

One of the measures he announced is that a team, headed by an officer, will spearhead the campaign to bring an end to this most annoying and disgusting problem in the city.

While Georgetown is a good place to start, the police cannot ignore complaints from residents in rural areas and the promised campaign would have to be spread to root out the nuisance around the country.

We eagerly look forward to the speedy and purposeful implementation of the new campaign.

The noise has become unbearable.