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Nakiwogo Residents Sue Church Over Noise Pollution

The trio; Richard Watum Wod-Ongom, Male Mukasa and Stephen Balinandi, all retired civil servants and businessmen allege that they have been living peacefully on their land until January 2020 when Kabuye rented land in their neighbouring where he constructed a Church. Kabuye rented the land on a 10-year contract from Florence Nabukenya.
26 Feb 2021 11:21
The Building that Houses the Civil Division of High Court
Three residents of Nakiwogo village in Entebbe Municipality have sued the owner of ‘My People World Mission Outreach Church’, Grace Kabuye over noise pollution.

The trio; Richard Watum Wod-Ongom, Male Mukasa and Stephen Balinandi, all retired civil servants and businessmen allege that they have been living peacefully on their land until January 2020 when Kabuye rented land in their neighbouring where he constructed a Church. Kabuye rented the land on a 10-year contract from Florence Nabukenya.

They say that the Church operates every weekend, and often during the week, both in the daytime, in the evening and sometimes overnight. When they are operating, the church emits excessive noise through a public address system, which violates their right to a clean and healthy environment guaranteed in the constitution.

In their suit, the petitioners say that they have suffered both economical and psychological torture because the church interfered with the serenity of their homes forcing their tenants to vacate the rentals, yet even their family members who still stay at home are suffering from the unbearable noise levels. 

The documents before the Court show that the Church iron sheet structure was erected under the cover of darkness, mainly to evade the Municipal Authorities who had not cleared the works on the site. It is further alleged by the applicants that at the time of construction, Sand that was excavated from the site was dumped near Wantum's perimeter wall which grossly affected the drainage system of the area to the detriment of the entire community.

Through their lawyers of Lwere, Lwanyaga and Company Advocates, the residents now want the court to declare that actions of the respondents to establish a church that emits unnecessary noise and vibration to the inconvenience if the surrounding and neighbourhood violates their right clean and healthy environment, and right to trade.  

Two years ago, a similar case was recorded when residents of Makerere zone B and Kibuga in Kawempe Division sued House of Prayer Ministries, before the High Court over noise pollution. The Church, owned by Pastor Aloysius Bujingo, was sued by Ali Sserunjogi, who represented 300 residents from Makerere zone B and Kibuga in Kawempe Division, stating that the Church had denied them the right to a healthy environment.

The residents said that noise from the Church had denied them peaceful sleep, private study, prayers and other normal activities such as education, business, sleeping, disruption of conversations and negative health effects.

In 2020, the then Civil Division Judge Andrew Bashaija sued businessman Bob Kabonero for causing excessive noise pollution from his bar Green Lounge located in Muyenga. Also in 2019, the City Hall Magistrates Court summoned musician Daniel Kazibwe commonly known as Ragga Dee to take plea on charges of noise pollution coming from his Kololo based bar, Big Mike.

Noise levels in a residential area are limited to 60 decibels in the daytime and 50 decibels at night. Daytime runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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