We make money out of noise, Diani bar owners tells residents

A decibel meter which measures sound levels. Residents of the resort town of Diani in Kwale County are up in arms over noise pollution from nightclubs and other entertainment joints.


Photo credit: Siago Cece I Nation Media Group

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Kwale bar owners have hit back at Diani residents for blaming their business establishments for noise pollution in residential areas.

Their chairperson, Richard Onsongo, said the accusations were baseless.

“Everyone knows that Diani is an entertainment hub. All the tourists, both local and international, come here to enjoy and this is part of the reason. So you cannot report our businesses because of noise,” he said.

Mr Onsongo told the Nation that if residents want a quiet place, they should relocate to other areas such as Ramisi, Kikoneni or other rural areas where there are fewer bars.

“They have no point getting involved in people’s businesses. Their complaints are alarming because next time they will even be protesting about noise from welding and aeroplanes at the airport,” he said.

“You cannot kill our businesses because of the noise. There are many other places where there are no entertainment joints and anyone who wants to stay there can move.”

His comments come days after Diani residents, through the South Coast Residents Association, complained about increased noise from bars and clubs.

The group has about 300 members.

Residents said most of the clubs are located in residential areas and should reduce the volume of the music they play.

The residents’ association also wrote to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), asking it to hire more staff in Diani or ask the Diani municipality to monitor noise pollution in bars.

They also advised clubs to reduce the noise or use soundproof facilities to protect residents from. The affected residents, who also complained about noise from churches and mosques, measured the noise levels using a decibel meter.

Noise levels recorded averaged at about 90 decibels (dB) against the recommended at least 55db during the day and 35dB at night  

But Kwale Nema boss Godfrey Wafula said the agency has enough staff and had trained some country government workers as environmental inspectors.

He added that after receiving the complaints, they mapped the areas where residents had reported loud music at night.

For years, Diani and Mtwapa have been the main entertainment hubs in the Coast region, hosting the highest number of nightclubs.

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