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Closure of Event Centres: Respite for Residents

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By Aichienede Akhabue Goodluck

The planned closure of some event centres within the Benin metropolis will definitely bring relief to many residents. Noise pollution has been a serious source of concern for many residents in Edo State over the years. In the Benin metropolis especially, the primary source of the noise pollution used to be vehicular traffic (cars and trucks), but recently, entertainment for some has become a source of stress, pain and sleepless nights for many others including myself.

The activities of hospitality businesses and their patrons, especially those located in residential areas now produce so much noise, traffic congestion, and waste that that makes living in these areas almost impossible.

Some years ago when I moved into my current home, I was over the moon. I had managed to find a serene environment with a good access road, and to top that, it was close to my office. Everyone who lives in Benin understands how important these are, but my joy has since turned sour.

Recent developments in the area have eroded what was once described as a conducive residential atmosphere and turned it into a noisy market place with noise decibels pushing the limits of sanity.

A major factor contributing to this unhealthy development is the infiltration of the area by some developers who have erected event centres, hotels, bars and lounges,  in clusters within what is supposed to be a residential area, thereby constituting a nuisance to the environment in the form of noise pollution.

The activities of these businesses would have been more manageable if they were carried out with some consideration for residents (like installing some form of sound-proofing). For my neighbours and I, our daily activities and nightlife have become nightmarish because of the noise generated from some of these hospitality facilities. As expected, these centers have become a safe haven for people with questionable characters, where they indulge in anti-social activities like drug peddling and prostitution, thus constituting grave security breaches in our home.

Obviously operating without proper permission from the authorities, these facilities create traffic congestions the sight of which could bring Apapa to mind because they do not have proper and spacious car parks. The congestion gets worse during rush hour and on weekends when people hold various ceremonies. Now, coming home from work has become a herculean task for us.

However, respite seems to be coming our way, with the recent clamp down on some of these facilities by the Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development. The MPPURD is also addressing the case of petrol stations and other buildings sited without approval. Some of them have already been marked for demolition, as such facilities constitute serious danger to the health, lives and properties of residents in the locality.

This campaign against illegal and indiscriminate construction of buildings on unauthorised plots by these developers is bound to return sanity and serenity to homes and the environment.

This swift move by the Edo State Government is worthy of commendation as it shows that the people are heard by a government willing to improve the quality of life of its people.

I hereby invite all Edo residents to join the call against the menace of indiscriminate construction of buildings on unauthorised locations in order to avert future dangers that result from such activities.

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