Posted on May 18, 2012


Today’s breakfast was great. Not just because of the great food, but also because yours truly was asked,”We need an idea for a story.”

Ya see we have two radio journalists who are here holding a two-week workshop for radio presenters from all over the country.

Well, funnily enough, never wanting for an issue here in Ghana, I immediately referred the two to this

Note: Interested in Ghanaian affairs this is a great blog!)

Anyways, it’s current, topical and it’s everywhere and all the time. As Kojo Antwi, Ghana’s Mr. Music Man, sings:

“Here’s to my people, my lively people.”

Now of course any article needs just a little editorializing so off I went:

1. why now? why take so long to come out with the levels?

Hmmmm… guess it’s a sign that there are many foreign nationals residing in the country and more diasporan Ghanaians have settled back in the Motherland…..

Nobody ever worried about noise pollution before….just go into the downtown areas of any Ghanaian city and count the crackpot, fly by night preachers yelling and screaming on countless street corners!

2. And will all these levels be enforced? First you need the equipment, I think they are called “calibrators” to monitor levels. How many times have I registered complaints at the E.P.A. here in Ghana’s second city to be told, “There’s no equipment therefore we can’t prove the levels are over the limit.”
Then again, most of the infractions occur at night when E.P.A. personnel have gone home or over the weekend when hotels in first class residential zones decide to have pool parties or cater to weddings that last to the wee hours of the morning and E.P.A. personnel are home for the weekend.

3. And you’ve probably read my theory on noise pollution here in Ghana somewhere on this’s just never been an issue here because it’s really only expats and diasporan Ghanaians who get in such a tizzy about noise and who are they to change our way of life with their fancy ideas. Anyways if they aren’t happy let them go back to where they have come from and continue sending their remittances…#3 in foreign exchange earnings.

4. But really the root of the problem is abuses of zoning…churches, bars, budget short time hotels are never reported during construction and the inspectorate-here in Kumasi the Developmental Control Unit-never goes out to the communities to inspect. Yours truly goes to report abuses and the question I always get is “HOW DO YOU KNOW?” I answer, “I live there! I talk to people! Why don’t you know? You should know!”

Recently, we had a visitor at Four Villages working on a project sponsored by a foreign government on planning of Kumasi working with Town and Country Planning. I commented, “Aren’t you a bit late? The city has been out of control for years. Growth has been too fast.”

Answer: We are focussing on new areas. Kumasi’s population is predicted to be 12,000,000 by 2020.

Me: Why would you think the new areas would be any different. There never is any enforcement. Just the other day, a high official in the tourism sector said, “Enforcement is our sickness.”

So a lot of food for thought for our two expat radio journalists.As they left for the day, I said, “Let me know what happens.”

And, oh yes, one of the radio journalist is resident in Accra. When he read 48 decibels, he laughed. “Where I live it’s more like 148 decibels. Sometimes the noise is so loud from a church, not so nearby, the glass on the table shakes!”

And I’ve got to mention this…this same guy who has missed the past four breakfasts because he wants to sleep in, surprised us when he came to breakfast today! Funny that the issue that disturbs his life so much in Accra is the topic of the story they will focus on at the radio journalists workshop.

But let me tell you I’ve fought hard to achieve some sort of peace in this neighbourhood. And looming on the horizon are two new battle fronts from just around here….but more on that later when I know more.