UGANDA, Bugolobi | Real Muloodi News | Two residents of Bandali Rise, Bugolobi allegedly complained to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) about the noise pollution coming from the bars surrounding the area.
The residents were identified as Francis Kabazikundi and the other is unknown.
Bugolobi is a busy suburban area in Kampala with several bars, restaurants, factory outlets, and other business ventures, yet these two complainants are the only residents on Bandali Rise, a street brimming with bars, restaurants, and other businesses.
However, the residents’ complaints went nowhere. Instead, they were advised to relocate rather than disturb the progress of businesses in the area.
The threats and pressure to close the bars intensified when the councilor for Bugolobi Parish, Francis Emojong, wrote a letter to the bar owners and managers on 10th March 2022.
In his letter, he wrote, ‘I write to inform you that I have registered several complaints (both verbal and written) about the excessively loud noise generated by your bar on several nights a week. This noise has allegedly denied residents in your neighbourhood their right to peace…I am also aware that despite several verbal warnings over time (from residents, local leaders, and police/law enforcement officers), your bar has continued to generate noise above the permitted levels with impunity and total disregard for the rights of the residents in your neighbourhood.’
The affected bars in Bugolobi include; Mango Groove Bar and Lounge, Banana Bar and Lounge, Karibu Bar and Lounge, Arena Bar and Lounge, Whisper Bar and Lounge, Calienter Bar and Lounge, Casa de Roy Bar and Lounge, Yard Bar and Lounge, Piccolo Bar and Lounge, Gabz Bar and Lounge, and Shisha Nyama Bar and Restaurant.
Emojong further noted that noise pollution is a crime according to the National Environment Authority (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, 2003 and sections 28 and 107 of the National Environmental Act, Cap 153.
A copy of the letter was sent to the KCCA Executive Director, Dr. Dorothy Kisaka, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Executive Director, the Nakawa Division Town Clerk, the area police commander, and area chairpersons.
In the letter, Emojong warned that if the noise pollution continues, the authorities will be left with no choice but to close the bars and revoke their licenses.
A few days later, following the complaints, the bar owners in Bugolobi, held a meeting. They deliberated that the only two residents on a commercial street cannot halt development and business.
They noted that the area is mainly commercial with a fast growth rate that cannot be hindered.
The complaining residents were, therefore, advised to relocate to residential areas and let Bugolobi businesses progress.
The bar owners also noted that they pay taxes to the government and employ over 400 Ugandans enabling them to support their families.
They argue that it is unjustifiable to close their businesses which employ and sustain families for the sake of only two people in the area.
The bar owners said they lost billions of shillings during the Covid-19 lockdown, when their businesses were closed for the longest period, unlike other businesses.
They said, therefore, that it does not make sense to shut them down just a few months after the government has recently reopened them.
Notably, in February this year, Dr. Kisaka urged bars in Kampala and other parts of the country to find ways of controlling and reducing noise pollution, but she did not talk about closing them.
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