COMMENTARY: Noise kills

noise killsThis is an Open letter to the Honourable Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, the Honourable Minister of Health, Julius Timothy, and Commissioner of Police, Daniel Carbon.

Noise kills. Therefore, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps to kill the growing nuisance of noise that is an assault on the minds and well-being of decent law abiding citizens of our beautiful island. Noise is a destructive force. It is mental abuse or mental violence that destroys lives. Children, whose developing brains are being traumatized by noise, the elderly, the sick, in other words, the most vulnerable in our society, are amongst those whose lives are being ruined by the menace of noise. There is a wealth of research that underlines the damaging effects of noise. Noise generates high levels of stress which affects our psychological and emotional well-being, our physical health, spiritual and educational development, social relations, and the economy. Doctors are now beginning to recognise and appreciate the harmful effects of stress on every facet of human growth and development.

Apart from the obvious sleep disturbance and hearing impairment, repeated exposure to excessive noise affects the heart and circulatory system, producing hypertension, heart disease and stroke; the immune system, lowering the body’s ability to fight infections; mental health, creating depression, anxiety and aggressive behaviour; childhood and cognitive development, disrupting the, “body’s natural rhythms causing sluggishness, poor concentration, depressed mood and irritability”, as well as hyperactivity; productivity in the work place and by extension the economy. Excessive noise has adverse effects on the developing foetus in the womb with long term consequences on the child’s mental and physical well-being. Yet, sadly, many view this increasing threat to our society, our health and well-being as “normal” and acceptable.

Two examples of the research evidence will suffice to demonstrate the destructive effects of noise. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO):
“Excessive noise seriously harms human health-interferes with people’s daily activities, at school, at work, at home and during leisure time. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour”.
Dr Gail Gross, in the Huffington Post, suggests that stress has harmful effects on foetal growth in the womb, with negative results for brain as well as cognitive development.

Furthermore Dr Gross writes:
“…a mother’s stress can affect her baby permanently. For example, a receptor for stress hormones can cause a biological change in the fetus, which makes it more vulnerable to stress after birth. This links with hyperactive disorders. Also, a correlation to stress in the womb can lead to later auto-immune problems”.
Clearly noise puts an enormous burden on the healthcare system and other state and social structures of a nation. But the noise referred to here has potentially greater health and related risks for Dominicans because of its association with rum shops, a sewo, loudspeaker culture and the consumption of alcohol and drug abuse. What is more children are being socialised into the noise and sewo, loudspeaker culture with its related health risks, thus storing future health problems for themselves, for an already overburdened healthcare system and for society on a whole. Research shows that chronic non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and heart disease are the leading causes of mortality in Dominica. Mental health is a growing concern, as is alcoholism, drug abuse and aggressive behaviour, particularly amongst the young.

Given the destructive effects of noise on every aspect of our lives and the related state of health in Dominica, the people responsible for our well-being and the welfare of our children (the ministers for health and education, healthcare professionals and child welfare workers) have been neglectful and irresponsible. They have remained mute about the ill effects of noise on human growth and development and on the citizens of this beautiful island. They have shown no sympathy, no compassion for the harmful effects of noise on the most vulnerable members of our community who are subjected to mental violence in the sacred space, the sanctuary that is their home, by a minority who show no regard for the law or their neighbours.

I appeal to you Prime Minister, to Minister Julius Timothy and Commissioner Carbon to take the appropriate and necessary steps to end the culture of noise that has developed across this beautiful island from loudspeakers blaring music at all hours of the day and night which is damaging the quality of life of a large section of the population, many of whom, as I have already suggested, are the most defenceless members of our society, who are exposed to this mental violence in their house, their haven of peace, which is made worse by the fact that there is no recourse to the law. No citizen should have to endure such mental abuse, such violence to their mental state in a society that prides itself on its deep seated Christian values.

As the Minister of Health and the minister responsible for applying the orders in the Noise Abatement Act I do not need to remind you, Minister Timothy, of the detrimental effects of noise on health and other areas related to human growth and development. Noise from the house you allegedly own in Mero which plays loud music from early evening until late morning is morally and legally indefensible. For such things to be taking place in an establishment belonging to a minister and the Minister of Health responsible for putting into effect the orders of The Noise Abatement Act cannot be justified morally or legally.

As someone who has recently experienced a crippling, life-threatening illness, which can be induced by noise, I encourage you to take a moral stance and defend and enforce the law.

I also ask you Commissioner Carbon to defend and enforce the law. Granting people permission to have “jams” in residential areas such as Mero that are clearly unsuitable for such events, events that have no end time, that transforms the inside of a person’s house into a discotheque of distress, that all right thinking people should denounce as unjust is, from a moral and Christian perspective, wrong. It is also an infringement of the orders of The Noise Abatement Act.
Noise is averse to the peaceful, moral and Christian values and principles that underpins this nation and which forms the cornerstone of the constitution, and is incompatible with the ideals of a “nature isle”, with the tourism product, promoted as the flagship of the economy, and a vision of a healthy, peaceful and productive nation. Allowing this culture of noise to continue unchecked will produce a dysfunctional, unproductive society and an environment of unnecessary pain and suffering for decent law abiding citizens.

The petition placed on Dominica News online (see, “Taking Aim at Noise Pollution”, and follow the link) calls for an amendment of The Noise Abatement Act and an enforcement of the law to create a healthier and more peaceful environment where the law and people’s rights are respected. By taking the appropriate and necessary steps, you, Prime Minister, Minister Julius Timothy and Commissioner Carbon, can stop the noise and grant the law abiding citizens of this land the right to live in their home in peace and quiet and to sleep when the need arises.

 

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22 Comments

  1. Joe
    October 3, 2014

    Any update on this petition issue please?

  2. N.F.L
    July 3, 2014

    Rubbish

  3. Anonymous
    July 2, 2014

    some people playing their music so loud i cannot hear if my phone ringing if you talk is jalo u jalo them

  4. DANZIGER
    July 1, 2014

    @ villager, Coltan is right the person who rent the kazebo for ppl to make their party at night is the one to BLAME. I WOKE UP SEVRAL TIMES AND ASK THEM low down the music they said yes. When I ENTER I HEARD THEM one said ” Oh she come and enjoy her self” so they put it louder. On sevral occasion that loud music is Under the KAZEBO in Mero. For me the music is ok for the beach party in the day but at nights no, thats not good at all. One of this days you all will respect our right, so the @ villager the man is right. Another thing the music in the Kazebo at nights desturb the PUBLIC but the one on the beach in the day is ok .

  5. I
    July 1, 2014

    Government should not give permission to any one to have nightclubs/ night box in residential areas and shops, bars and other businesses as well any one else should not allow to play loud music at any time.

  6. Anonymous
    July 1, 2014

    Government should not give permission to any one to have nightclubs/ night box in residential areas and shops, bars and other businesses as well any one else should not allow to play loud music at any time.

  7. villager from mero
    July 1, 2014

    oh colton is sad but true. there’s nothing u can do about ur lie. music is not play in mero all day and all night. you leave all ur life in the UK over 40 year now u want to come to dominica where u claim its ur home land and want the government to charge the law for you. u just need to go back to the UK where u give some thing to the economy and talk that . from the time I was a little child mero would have loud music from band like A&M and ppl like ur grand mother was very old and they did not complain. the E.N.T SPECIALIST LIVE IN MERO AND I HAVN’T HEAR HIM COMPLAINING LIKE U . MAN JUST GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

  8. Anonymous
    July 1, 2014

    Mr. Dodds Telemaque, what’s ur intake on this? I’m looking forward in reading ur response

  9. So yes..
    July 1, 2014

    Stop whining!

  10. Peaceful
    July 1, 2014

    This is one of the most irritating things for me whenever I visit. Noise!!—on the roads, the talk shows, the entertainment places and indeed the dogs who bark ceaselessly all night long. Between the dogs and the mosquitoes I hardly get any sleep during my entire vacation and I just have to do a count down to my return. It’s amazing this has been a problem for so long and dog owners are still irresponsible and lawless about the misery they cause to their neighbours:(.

  11. Dumbo
    July 1, 2014

    Sorry to say it, but all that writing is falling on “deaf ears”….why appeal to tim-tim :-D , skrewit :lol: and carboxy? :mrgreen:

  12. Anonymous
    July 1, 2014

    Calibishie has the same problems as Mero. It used to be a nice quiet village to live in, but no more. People here are too afraid to complain. :cry:

  13. crime stopper camera
    July 1, 2014

    You expect PM ahd Timothy to address ths problem? These two are empty barrels, and you know what they do best. You hear them Gang shouting ‘Go to Hell!’ and ‘Get Out!’ and “E You!’ etc. None corrects the other. Alixia will be of know support to you, because today she says one thing and tomorrow another thing.
    Wish you luck with the law enforcement and who orders who.

  14. Browne,C (Rastafari)
    July 1, 2014

    LOL :lol: and Dominicans want night landing? :mrgreen: Noise from factories, motorcycles, cars, road construction…what else should we stop doing since we’re on the subject? There are many unwanted sounds (noise) on the radio stations in D/ca each day where people call the station and blah, blah, blah about [email protected] There’s something to start working on. Get a life already!

    • Wey papa
      July 2, 2014

      Noise during the day from regular machinery one can tolerate, but noise during the night, when one is trying to have a good night sleep to regain their strength for the next day chores, is definitely a NO!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Marian Jno-Finn
    July 1, 2014

    I join this campaign in getting control for noise pollution.

    • July 1, 2014

      Great!

    • CCJ
      July 1, 2014

      I agree and have joined the cause

  16. Bush Man
    July 1, 2014

    “To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause.”

    I feel your pain Colton so I read Shakespeare in de bush far removed from de madding crowd.

  17. grell
    July 1, 2014

    Its so amazing that the so called ministers,which i call idiots do not take notes and do something about the late night noises.

    • July 1, 2014

      They like to associate Dominica with North America well we have laws to deal with NOISE and let me say playing music and making noise are two different things I keep listening to my people complain over and over and nothing is been done The Policemen do nothing they don’t care So I hope the Gov’t will have the back bone to help those that are effected by excess noise on the Island. PM we ask you to do the right thing for all the people.

      • toma
        July 1, 2014

        you have to compare, Dominica is a lawless country where the people have absolutely no regards for law and feel that they can do as they want.
        I don’t blame them because that what the authorities wants, otherwise they would have passed laws that prohibit the disturbance of others.
        Dominica will never mover forward due to negatives that comes out of that country. Some of the dumbest people I know comes from Dominica, everyone has their own laws.

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