A Mombasa resident has sued mobile service provider Safaricom over noise and air pollution which he claims is as a result of a base transceiver station (BTS) located opposite his residential house.
In his suit filed at the High Court in Mombasa, Mr Ali Athman says that Safaricom has caused excessive noise and hazardous air to move from the land where the BTS is located to his residence.
He claims that the service provider has polluted the environment around his residence in Mtopanga in breach of the law, causing him to suffer loss, injuries and damage.
Mr Athman also accuses the National Environment and Management Authority (Nema), which he has also sued, of abating the ''nuisance'' occasioned by Safaricom by failing to carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) before allowing the firm to put up the BTS.
“In the event it did carry out the EIA, then it failed to consult the plaintiff as required by law,” argues Mr Athman.
He accuses Nema of failing to monitor and evaluate Safaricom’s BTS and take the necessary action against it as required by law.
Mr Athman is seeking a declaration that Safaricom has caused a nuisance by emitting hazardous air and releasing excessive noise from the station to his residence.
The plaintiff says that he lodged a complaint with Safaricom on March 26, 2018 that a generator was emitting hazardous gas that pollutes the air around his house, affecting his health, that of his wife and children.
Mr Athman says that he also complained that the generator vibrates and produces irritating noise that has affected his hearing.
According to the plaintiff, in response to the complaint, Safaricom commissioned a company to carry out an environmental audit report which was sent to him by email.
“The first defendant’s (Safaricom) forwarding letter did admit that the noise produced by the generator has been found to be a nuisance to the plaintiff and his family during power outages,” part of the suit documents says.
Mr Athman says that on receipt of the environmental report, he consulted an environmental consultancy company to analyse it and advise him.
He says that the report by the consultancy company established, among other things, that there were dangerous levels of noise pollution in his premises.
According to the suit papers, Mr Athman describes the particulars of injuries he has suffered as bilateral high frequency sensory neural hearing loss.
Mr Athman also says that he was forced to close his retail shop which has occasioned a loss of Sh4.2 million as at the date of filing the case.
The plaintiff, who is seeking Sh4.2 million in special damages, also wants a declaration that Safaricom has polluted the air around his parcel of land.
He also seeks a declaration that he has suffered loss, injury and damage and he is entitled to general damages.