Noise Control in Lusaka South/Makeni Area

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This petition is to address the disturbance caused by the numerous, simultaneous and loud calls to prayer by multiple sources located in the same area in Makeni (west of Kafue Road along the Makeni Road area and near the Islamic Mosque/clinic/Trust).

For decades, inhabitants of the Lusaka South/Makeni/Kafue Road area have cohabited peacefully with the trademark calls to prayer from the Islamic Mosque. The calls were an accepted part of life and they were never such as to be overtly noticeable or to be a disturbance.

However, in recent times and more particularly since December 2016, there has been an increase in the number of points transmitting their calls loudly and at the same times resulting in a discordant cacophony. As sound travels far, this noise is clearly heard at distances of up to 3Km from the point of origin.

On average, now there are up to 2-4 points of transmission (including the Islamic Mosque on Makeni Road) from the same general area, during the same time frame, with only a slight difference in start times. Even the morning call is now transmitted by 3 mosques.

During Ramadan, this trend intensifies as the calls of mosques from the general Chawama area also transmit very loudly and because of the time of year, for extended periods of time, sometimes as close to an hour. Those sandwiched between the Makeni side and the Chawama side are not spared and are, instead, subjected to an onslaught of this noise throughout the day.

Currently, some residents are counting up to 10+ different prayer calls per day even at distances of several kilometers away. Closing windows does not help and people are forced to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning whether they are ready for it or not. Sleep times are being dictated by the mosques for all, whether Muslim or not.

In a diverse neighbourhood that is clearly not all Muslim and in keeping with a spirit of respectful cohabitation, we are petitioning for the prompt regulation of these loud calls and their simultaneous transmission by multiple mosques from the same area. Surely each congregation is aware of their times of prayer. Should all the faiths and creeds living in this area do the same it would be sheer mayhem!

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