By Ivan Mwine
Residents of Bugolobi who have been complaining about noise pollution from bars in the area have been advised to relocate to a residential area, since Bugolobi is a mainly commercial city suburb.
The development comes after two residents reportedly petitioned the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), demanding the closure of bars in Bugolobi, claiming they are emitting a lot of noise and as a result they (residents) have been denied their right to peace and quiet.
However, bar owners are vehemently opposed to the closure of their business facilities by KCCA over allegations of noise pollution, arguing that the two complaining residents should relocate to residential areas instead of blocking development in Bugolobi.
The bars that have been pin pointed as the champions of noise pollution in Bugolobi include; Mango Groove Bar & Lounge, Banana Bar & Lounge, Karibu Bar & Lounge, Arena Bar & Lounge, and Whispers Bar & Lounge, Caliente Bar & Lounge, and Casa de Roy Bar and Lounge, Yard Bar & Lounge, Piccolo Bar & Lounge, Gabz Bar & Lounge, plus Shisha Nyama Bar & Restaurant.
Accordingly, we have established that Francis Emojong, the councillor for Bugolobi Parish, on March 10th, 2022, wrote a letter to bar owners and managers, copied to the KCCA executive director, Dr. Dorothy Kisaka, the NEMA Executive Director, the Nakawa Division Town Clerk, the area police commander and area chairpersons, warning thus;
“I write to inform you that I have registered several complaints (both verbal and written) about excessively loud noise generated by your bar on several nights a week. This noise has allegedly denied the residents in your neighbourhood their right to peace and quiet.”
“I am also aware that despite several verbal warnings over time, (from residents, local leaders and police/law enforcement) your bar has continued to generate noise above the permitted levels with impunity and total disregard for the rights of the residents in your neighbourhood,” he added.
Emojong, who warned that bars which don’t comply will be closed and their licenses revoked, stressed in his letter that noise pollution is an offence according to the National Environment Authority (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations 2003, under sections 28 and 107 of the National Environment Act cap 153.
However, the bar owners contend closure of their business facilities is not plausible, most especially because they lost billions of shillings when they were closed down by the government following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the several meetings held it was realized the street has Two residents from Village Mall to the market .The place has since changed into commercial area,” one of the bar owners said on condition of anonymity.
He added that; “About 13 bars operate on the street employing over 300 employees and paying revenue and taxes. But the two residents feel these businesses, which include law firms, clinics, consultants and washing bays to mention but a few should relocate in order for them to sleep comfortably, yet Kampala continues to grow.”
He argued that closing down business and leaving over 300 people jobless, plus making government lose revenue is form of taxes just for the sake of two people who want to enjoy peaceful sleep when others are working does not make sense.