* L-R- Prof Dele Owolawi, CEO. Founder of Decibel Hearing Consultants, MAAN, General Secretary, Comrade Babalola John Bele, The GM LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, MAAN Governor, Alhaji Isiaka Yisa, Bisi Sonibare, Head Noise & Emission Control (LASEPA) and Dr. Graham Amposah*
The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), in response to the alarming medical reports that 20 out of the 100 people recently tested during its ‘Noiseless Lagos’ campaign at Ojota were diagnosed with various hearing problems, is set to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to embark on a free hearing test for Lagosians.
The General Manager of the Agency, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, disclosed this on Wednesday while welcoming a delegation from the Music Advertisement Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Lagos State Chapter, who were on a courtesy visit to the Agency’s Headquarters at Alausa.
According to her, the Agency received several complaints from the public on the environmental nuisance caused by unfriendly practices and activities of members of MAAN, under the guise of engaging in record sales and advertisement, which is of great concern to the government in view of its implication on people’s health.
She said “It is unlawful to subject people to discomfort and nuisance as a result of their selfish interest. The law forbids the use of public address systems or loudspeakers to solicit or advertise goods at any public and open places. Attracting people to record outlets through noisy or loud music is not acceptable and must be confronted with the seriousness it deserves”.
“It is very disheartening to note that 20 out of 100 people recently tested during our motor park campaign at Ojota, exhibited signs of hearing impairment. Hence, the reason for the extension of the free hearing test to other places. We also intend to take advantage of the large outreach of every association in the State to reach out to their members to drive home the zero-tolerance campaign of the government on noise pollution”, Fasawe added.
While soliciting for the collaboration of the MAAN on the ‘Noiseless Lagos’ campaign with the theme ‘Kill the Noise, Not the Music’, Fasewe said the partnership will deter the members of the association from stationing loud speakers at public places, stressing that the campaign would be sustained through continuous advocacy, education and enlightenment of other relevant stakeholders.
Responding, the Governor of the Music Advertisement Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Alhaji lsiaka Yisa, pledged the association’s support for the Noiseless Lagos Advocacy campaign and warned its members to guard against unfriendly practices and activities
He reaffirmed the urgent need to collectively fight the noise pollution among the members and non-members’ activities for sanity to reign in Lagos, particularly those who flout the laws unabatedly.
According to him, the association would utilise the existence of its 78 zones to ensure support for LASEPA, revealing that all members are guided by the practice and ethics of their trade which banned them from playing loud music, especially in the public domain.
A renowned medical expert and Professor of Audiology, Prof. Dele Owolawi of Decibel Hearing Consultants Ltd, who was also at the meeting, confirmed that 8.5 million Nigerians are presently battling hearing loss and thereby called for concern over the alarming rate of people prone to losing their eardrums.
He explained that exposure to constant noise pollution causes mental illness, stress, blood pressure, heart disease, sleeping disorder, heart attack and lack of concentration among the children.
“We have documented evidence that a baby born with high frequency of noise is likely to be dull, irritated, compared to his counterpart from a silent environment. LASEPA is doing well in its fight against noise pollution in Lagos State. Many people are unaware of their hearing problems”, Prof Owolawi noted.