Half our population is deaf or will become so soon

Dear Editor,

Time and again persons have brought to the attention of all concerned the situation of noise nuisance through your column.  This is a situation which affects humans and animals alike. I would like to highlight a regular night-time activity (most nights) inclusive of the holidays in First Avenue, Bartica.  From late afternoon to early the next morning about 3 am, there is approximately eleven hours of non-stop noise coming from different places of entertainment.

In addition to the noise emanating from the nightspots, there is an additional dimension – the cars with the alarms on.  These vehicle owners park their vehicles on the parapet/shoulder of the road. According to the police, persons have the right to put on the alarms for security purposes on their vehicles. However, the vibration from the boom-boom boxes causes the alarms to go off repeatedly, and persons living around the area have to remain in their homes and contend with the noise for there appears to be no redress.

The Bartica Police Station is within the area of the noise-makers. The situation is such that if anyone calls the police they allege that they cannot hear the phone ring unless someone is next to it.  It does not stop there.  The police are claiming that they do not issue the permission for the music to be played; the magistrate does that. I would like the authorities concerned to focus on the following:

1. Why is permission being given to the same person weekly and for most nights to play music loudly? What role do the police play in this travesty?  I have never heard of a case where the police took a perpetrator of noise nuisance to court.  Is this outside of the police mandate?

2. Why are persons allowed to drink alcohol and drive? All the police have to do is stand up by the parked vehicles and take action as the revellers arrive for their vehicles.

3. What happened to the breathalysers the police use on suspected drink and drive offenders?

4. There is a saying: ‘The children are our future’; will deafness be a part of their future?

5. There are private vehicles /taxis with boom-boom boxes in their vehicles playing loud music while driving on the road, and others who park on the roadside drinking and playing their music loudly.

6. Why are persons not charged or brought before the courts?

7. Noise nuisance is becoming a public health issue since half our population is either deaf, or will become so soon. Taking the perpetrators to court privately is not the ideal thing to do since it takes forever for these matters to be brought up in court, much less to have a conviction.  We the members of Guyanese Women in Development condemn this continuous noise pollution which is damaging to our citizens and animals.

Yours faithfully,
B H Khan
Demerara Branch of GUYWID  

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