Why Lagos Govt. Declared 15 October ‘Horn Free Day’
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday explained the idea behind his administration’s initiative, “Horn Free Day” slated for 15 October, 2014, describing it as a step towards sensitising residents to the harmful effects of noise pollution.
Speaking at the State’s first “Lagos Drivers’ Appreciation Day” held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry House, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Fashola said that the Horn Free Day was an initiative of his administration to persuade citizens that there is a better way to live than indulging in noise pollution which has been found to be harmful to their health.
Re-enforcing the remarks of the Guest Lecturer who put the harmful noise level at 70 decibels and above, the Governor said that there was need to bring this figure down significantly because according to the global standard for measuring noise, “90 decibels is rather too high and harmful to human health”.
“It is for our own good, it is for our own health, it is for our own life. It is not because Governor Fashola said so. It is not because Lagos State Government said so. It is simply because it is good for us. Doctors have told us it is for our own ultimate good”, the Governor said.
According to him, “What we see in a way that we now choose to live is that because we live in a very noisy environment, which we can really diminish, we tend to be very noisy ourselves. We speak at the top of our voices, we play music at very high decibels and we do very many things at very high levels”.
The Governor pointed out that the campaign against noise pollution was a response to the petitions and complaints of “citizens and tax payers who, on daily basis, write and petition us that somebody is preventing them from sleep either from the noise they are making or from other uncharitable activities they are carrying on without regard for the well being of their neighbours.”
He further recalled, “Occasionally, when you hear a siren you know something has gone wrong in that system; you know that either an ambulance is on its way to an emergency or firemen are on their way to a fire or policemen are tracking and chasing criminals; and I said then that why should we be different, are we not Nigerians?”
Saying that such a change should start from Lagos, Governor Fashola expressed joy that the Ministry of Transportation and all its affiliated agencies, the Drivers’ Institutes, the Transport and the Law Enforcement Institutes, have all taken the Horn Free Day challenge up to the level of implementation.