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Wikipedia (File photo) / Chimoio's Municipal Council
The new fines for noise nuisance by vendors of home-made drinks have “liberated” Chimoio, capital of Manica in central Mozambique, from noise pollution, a source of the city council told Lusa yesterday.
The vendors however complain of a drop in the income they need to sustain their families.
A new municipal law which came into effect at the beginning of the year raised fines for noise pollution from the previous 30 meticais (EUR 0.4) to 250 meticais (EUR 3.5) for first time offenders.
Fines for second offences are double that and authorities confiscate the devices of repeat offenders, mayor of Chimoio Raul Conde says.
“The situation is much better,” Conde said during celebrations of the 48th anniversary of Chimoio’s elevation to city status.
The same municipal policy update also set the closing time of alcoholic beverage outlets at 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 p.m. on the weekend.
The neighbourhoods of Nhamaonha, September 7, June 16, February 3, Chinfura and June 25, lead the list of Chimoio locations with the worst noise pollution.
Crime in these locations has now slowed, the mayor says.
“The heavy fines, seizure of the means involved in producing the noise, the involvement of the municipal police, the PRM and some private forces are helping to minimise the problem,” Conde said, adding that new sources of pollution are constantly being identified and eliminated.
The authorities report that 14 sound systems were confiscated across the capital from January to June this year.
The chairperson of the Chimoio Municipal Assembly, Manuel Sueta, explained that the new rules came into force in January, along with regularisation of annual fees and taxes, and have brought peace to the residents for six months now.
The new municipal measure is applauded by residents who spent sleepless nights, but has brought protest from beverage manufacturers.
“I don’t sell drinks like I was selling them [previously] for a long time. I have night customers, because during the day they are busy with odd jobs, and if I do not play music they think that I have no product and don’t come,” vendor Manuela Sindique complains.
Family income has fallen and now she says she has to improvise to feed her children.
Adriano Filipe, a resident of the 7 de Setembro neighbourhood, is more supportive. “In addition to having the quiet, we have now managed to control intrusions in our backyards, which were broken into without us realising it because of the noise,” he says.
Consumers, mostly low-income citizens and goods handlers in the centre of Chimoio, say they are broadly indifferent to the measure.
The new policy forms part of the list of goals now 75 percent accomplished by authorities, in line with manifesto promises. Challenges providing water, energy, access roads and transportation to residents remain.Source: Lusa