By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Parliament will today (Thursday) continue to process the National Environment Bill, 2017 that among others seeks to regulate noise pollution from worshippers in the churches at night.
The object of this Bill is to repeal the National Environment Act Cap. 153 and replace it with a Law that conforms to existing Government policies and other relevant laws.
The Bill intends to strengthen the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as a regulator and other agencies involved in environmental management and among others prohibit any kind of pollution that infringes the rights of others.
During the debate on Wednesday, Karamoja Affairs minister who also doubles as MP for Ibanda South County, John Byabagambi said that even people who shout the whole night in the name of prayer while making noise for those who are supposed to be resting should be controlled as they pollute the environment.
Byabagambi’s proposal however drew lots of criticism especially from born again MPs who called him to order. He was only saved by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who guided the House that, “prayer is not the problem but shouting is the issue. The focus is on noise and any form of noise that disturbs the peace.”
Clause 105 of the National Environment Bill, 2015 provides for standards for the control of effects of vibration and pollution caused by noise. The committee is proposing taking measurement of the levels of noise emanating from all sources.
The National Environment Bill, 2017 in clause 105 also seeks to prescribe minimum standards for noise and vibration; and issue guidelines for the abatement of unreasonable noise and vibration from any source.
President Museveni has on several occasions complained about worshippers who disturb the peace of others at night shouting “as if God is deaf.”
Last month, Museveni revealed how there is a church near State House, Nakasero whom congregants make noise when he is meeting his guests.