Residents of East Legon Garden Street, near A&C Shopping Mall have expressed worry over an immense noise pollution and constant smoke from Exhale Lounge a pub in the vicinity for over three years. According to residents the loud music has become too much a nuisance as it operates from day to dawn around 5am.
They also indicated that puffs of smoke from the pub enters their residences, a situation that poses a serious health hazard to them.
“I have a four year old and a 7 year old in my house, and I am so scared for them, inhaling smoke into their lungs and the noise. I fixed a fire alarm and it will ring till daybreak because of the smoke. There’s even an old lady in the next house who can’t sleep with either fan or air condition but because of the smoke she have to sleep with all her windows locked, we would have left the area if we had rented the place,” a resident lamented.
Speaking to the media, some affected residents said they had on several occasions confronted the owner of the pub and asked that at least the volume of the sound be reduced and to put in place appropriate measures to absorb the smoke, but all their efforts went unheeded.
Other affected residents raised concerns about customers of the pub parking cars in front of their gates, a situation they described as insecure in this era where there has been an increased report on robbery.
“I wake up at dawn to see a lot of cars parked in front of my gate that I can’t even move out, so imagine there’s an emergency and I have to take any of my family members, my children to the hospital? Do they want me to jump over my wall to come and look for the owner to move first?”
Residents however blamed the pub for failing to use appropriate preventive measures to avert the constant disturbances residents are experiencing, as most of them want just three things done – reducing the sound, controlling the smoke and not allowing customers to park in front of their gates. “This is a residential area, we work during the day and want to sleep at night knowing that our family is safe but we don’t get this peace to even sleep,” one lady said.
They also blamed the appropriate authorities for not coming to their rescue after several complaints, a key reason why they are turning to the media. According to a resident who pleaded anonymity, several petitions were presented to various authorities including the Police, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Municipal Assembly.
He said the complaints got EPA to carry out a monitoring assessment of the facility and other investigations to confirm the allegations or otherwise, however after a week of Exhale Lounge yielding to the demands of EPA, they had reversed to the initial noisemaking, and nothing had been done afterwards.
The EPA report
According to the report, “the higher noise emanating from Exhale Lounge could adversely affect public health and the environment.”
The Environmental Protection Agency report indicated that Exhale Lounge has no permit from them at the time of assessment. It has also confirmed that the noise levels at the Exhale Lounge has exceeded the acceptable levels in the capital and other cities.
“The equivalent noise levels recorded at all the monitoring sites/locations at the time of assessment were unsatisfactory. The noise levels recorded were higher than the recommended limit of 48dB (A).
Similarly, the background ambient noise levels recorded at all the selected monitoring sites ranged between 38.5 and 45.7dB(A). Generally, the ambient noise levels (LAeq) recorded at the fence line and behind the window areas of the complainants were higher than the recommended night time limit of 48 dB(A) as prescribed in the Ghana Standard for ambient noise control (GS1222:2018).
The lower background ambient noise levels recorded at the environs of the Exhale Lounge is an indication that the area was not noisy before the operations of Exhale Lounge. These lower background noise levels did not significantly influence the equivalent (LAeq) noise levels,” it said.