A prayer session
A prayer session
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Did God flee during ban on noise-making?

When the Ga Traditional Council announced the ban on drumming and noise-making, some of us who are victims of this nuisance from churches and drinking spots were overjoyed. 

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We were elated, not because we hated the loving Almighty God, but at least, we had respite from the health-damaging activities created largely by the churches through noise pollution.

The ban on drumming and noise-making in Accra took effect on May 6 and ended on June 6, 2024. The month-long ban heralded the annual Homowo Festival by the Ga State.

During this significant period, the worship of churches, for instance, was not curtailed. The noisy activities were only limited to clapping, dancing and singing. It must be noted that in the past, some miscreant Ga youth took the law into their own hands and in the process of enforcing the ban, seized drums and other instruments from the churches and later released them for a fee.

In some cases, the seizures culminated in fights between the church members and the youth. This time around, the traditional authority was in full charge with the support of the security services and prevented any disorderliness.

There was tranquillity in the Metropolis when the ban took effect as this measure regulated the excessive noise that the country's regulatory bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the police failed to enforce.

War

Having been aware of the dangers inherent in noise and its effects on human beings such as hearing impairment, sleep disturbances, adverse social behaviour and cardiovascular diseases among others, I have been at 'war' with the leadership of the cluster of churches in my residential area.

To these churches, most of which are in make-shift structures, with a population ranging between 20 and 30, it is enough to acquire sophisticated loudspeakers and make 'joyful noise to the Lord', mostly in the wee hours of the night.

In Ghana, the permissible noise set by the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) and the EPA for residential areas requires that noise levels should not be above 55 decibels (dB) during the day and 48 dB at night.

For these congregants and drinking spots operators, once they are satisfied and can tolerate the excessive noise themselves, nothing matters again. Even those who want to resort to law courts to seek redress in these matter are frustrated because of the slow nature of our court system.

These churches are adamant about any counsel and reasoning. They attack and consider residents who complain about the nuisance their instruments cause as ungodly and or satanic and create animosity between themselves and the communities.

The behaviour of the leadership of these churches is, to say the least, unfathomable because even the Bible admonishes us to live in peace with all. The noise has resumed following the lifting of the ban last week.

Appeal

May I, therefore, appeal to the Ga Traditional Council and other traditional councils in the country to, in the ensuing year, extend the ban on drumming and noise-making in their various jurisdiction, to at least six months, because even when these churches were without noise for a month, God, the Almighty, did not flee from their presence.

Let me remind the churches also to pay attention to Mathew 6: 6, which admonishes us thus: "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

The writer is a Sub Editor, Daily Graphic, Accra.

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