A hand-held Sound level Meter (SLM) calibrated at 114 decibels (dBA) and frequency of 1000Hz was used for the real-time measurement of noise levels from 10 churches at Aba Metropolis. Day time and night time noise level measurements were conducted during the dry and wet seasons for the two Municipal Districts. At Aba North the average mean values for day time and night time noise levels measurement recorded from the 5 churches during the dry season were 74.5 decibels whiles, at the wet season were 67.7 decibels respectively. At Aba South the average mean values for day time and night noise levels measured from 5 churches during the dry season were 70.6 decibels and in the wet season were 71.0 decibels respectively. All noise levels measured and recorded at the 10 churches at Aba Metropolis were higher than the recommended noise standards of 55 day and 48 night set by EPA Nigeria. This specified that the risk factors for inhabitants living in these areas were high due to extended continuous exposure of noise. A questionnaire was administered to 100 respondents in the environs of Aba Metropolis. Assessment conducted on gender showed that females were 60% while males were 40%. Majority was citizens, educated and was being disturbed by the exposure of noise emanating from the churches. Forty-nine percent (49%), of the respondents were of the opinion that, diseases associated with noise exposure were high blood pressure while 37% of the respondents were unable to sleep. Other respondents (28%) were of the view that anxiety and annoyance were ailments related to noise exposure to achieve any success with noise pollution control, it is incumbent for authorities responsible to enforce the existing regulations.

• Background of the Study
In modern times, the issue of excessive noise making (pollution) has become a thing of concern, especially in built-up residential areas. Pollution is very significant and should not be underestimated because of its adverse effect on man and its environment. Pollution is one of the major environmental problems and is defined as the presence of impure, unwanted, and harmful substance present in an environment (Azizi, 2010). Simlarly, noise is audible sound that causes disturbance, impairment or health damage. According to Gupta and Ghatak (2009), the key to man’s health lies largely in his environment and much of man’s ill health can be traced to the adverse environmental effects on pollutions such as water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution and noise pollution.

Urbanisation, development, economic growth and transport system are some of the driving forces for environmental noise exposure and public health. According to World Health Organisation report, (2001), environmental noise is one of the physical occupational diseases that adversely affect health conditions in the human being or animal life and the accumulation of all noise present in a specific environment must be recognised as a major threat to human well-being.

The American Medical Heritage Dictionary defined noise as an annoying or physiologically damaging environmental sound level. Similarly, the term noise is commonly used to describe sounds that are disagreeable or unpleasant produced by acoustic waves of random intensities and frequencies (Akhtar, 1996). According to Raney and Cawthron (1979) defined noise as any audible acoustic energy that adversely affects

the physiological well-being of people. Normal conversation is about 60 dB (A). According to Gupta et al., (2010), rapid urbanization has led to various public health challenges, including environmental pollution because activities that caused pollution are essential to meet the needs of the growing population and development.

Consequently, the commonest noise pollution these days are emanating from religious institutions especially churches. According to Boateng (2023), churches are part of noise pollution problem. Resulting in residents reporting the matter to court as noise from the growing number of churches becomes intolerable. Moreover, in the last five years, 5,000 new churches have sprung up in the capital of Nigeria, Aba and that’s contributed to the growing misery of residents forced to endure frequent all-night services which have provoked some residents to carry the matter to court Ama Boateng report on Aljazeera (2023).

However, noise pollution is being reported to come from various sources. Most noise globally is a result of economic activities. EPA Nigeria (2010) reported that, most of our productive human activities are associated with noise generation. Excessive noise beyond a certain level of intensity and duration adversely affect human health. In general, some of the anthropological factors that propagate these noise nuisances are the industrial and commercial facilities, the spinners and the music and cassette shop, and the honking of horns from various automobiles. Others are excessive noise generated from the markets and the schools attached to such communities, block and corn mills and the churches. All these systems are the significant contributing factors of noise making in the cities and this trend continues up to date.

However, noise has a serious health implication on humans and animals in the environment. Apparently, noise affects man’s state of mental, physical and social well- being (Hert & Papakonstantinon, 2016). Noise can, therefore, cause physiological and psychological damage to humans. The World Health Organisation [WHO] (2000), indicated that noise pollution could cause annoyance, sleep disturbances, hearing impairment, hypertension, aggression, low retentive memory, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, increased heartbeats and heart burns, psychological trauma, irritation and harmful effect to humans.

Similarly, it is against these effects and nuisances of noise-making that Environmental Protection Agency - Nigeria, acting on behalf of the government, has enacted bye-laws to regulate it [Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Nigeria, 2010]. The numerous complaints officially received by the regulatory authorities, Environmental Protection Agency and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (EPA and MMDAs) from the general public form these churches of noise making in the urban centers and it effect calls for the need for an intensive and integrated noise pollution evaluation. Noise from previous era up to date has been one of the major problems, particularly in urban areas affecting a large number of people within the societies.

Depending on frequency, measure of sound duration, distribution and level of exposure, noise may lead to conflict, emotional upset and reduced academic performance in of children.

Consequently, preventive measures to minimize noise pollution are more practical than their elimination. In India, noise is regarded as a pollutant under the air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. Secondly, noise has been defined as unwanted sound and

lastly, noise consists of unpleasant obtrusive, annoying, distracting, or persistent sounds that interfere with sleep or the ability to concentrate or enjoy life.

Hert and Papakonstantinon (2016) stated that: “noise which is a destructive entity is governed by laws, regulations and standards”. These standards usually specify measurement using a Weighting filter (A) indicated on the sound meter and is normally used as a measure on the sound level meters. Noise is measured in decibels (dB) using a sound level meter.

• Statement of the Problem
Noise generation in Nigeria has become a nuisance and public health concern, especially in Aba metropolis due to improper monitoring and inability to apply the laws and regulations on noise. This has resulted in poor records on the trends of noise making in the country. There seems to be an increase in human population in Nigeria especially in the city of Aba metropolis. This has made human more vulnerable to public health diseases such as high blood pressure, deaf, heart attack, the inability to sleep, anxiety, annoyance, inefficiency of work, etc. The recognition of noise as a serious hazard as opposed to nuisance is a recent development and the health effects of the hazardous noise exposure are now considered to be an increasingly important public health problem (WHO, 2001).

It has been observed that noise is one of the most common activities in the Nigerian environment with the cities being the worst affected. However, it has been confirmed by the World Health Organisation (2016), that noise pollution ranked second among a series of environmental stressors. The highest of the noise complaints received was that of the noise pollution emanating from the churches. According to Environmental Protection

Agency, Nigeria, it has also been confirmed that, about 70% of such noise complaints are about churches in Southern Nigeria (EPA Nigeria, 2007). One of the places where high levels of noise can have a significant effect on public health is churches and mosques. Aba Metropolis in Southern Nigeria cannot be exempted as far noise making is concern.

In Aba Metropolis shows that, there is an increase in population due to the area being a trading centre, a noise prone environment and church based zone. However, there have not been any research on noise making in these areas though there have been about 75% of noise complaints from residents to EPA Nigeria on noise nuisance emanating from churches in these areas. In an explanation, Philomina and Escroghene (2023) recounted that noise pollution in churches in Port Harcourt is one of the health encounters facing the country. Churches represent an excellent environment in the propagation of sound which poses a high risk in the occurrence of noise induced loss (da Lilly- Tariah et al, 2017). A great percentage of population in these Municipalities is ignorant of the effects of being exposed to high noise level. The WHO (2014) confirmed with estimates that about 1.1 billion children and youth around the world may face the risk of hearing loss and other harmful effects due to unsafe listening practices.

The developments have made the Municipalities to become noise prone with a lot of noise “hot spots” (EPA Nigeria, 2010). It has been observed that noise pollution in Aba Metropolis is ever increasing with population increasing. Most residents would be affected by the noise generated by the churches in these Municipalities in the near future. Based on these adverse effects on human health and others on the exposure on noise making in Aba Metropolis in the Southern Nigeria, it is therefore imperative to conduct a study on noise making to assess the intensity of level of noise generated by these churches and its adverse effect on public health and,to ascertain whether they conform to the standards set by EPA Nigeria during the day time and night time and to give recommendations to reduce the levels of noise .

• Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the excessive noise levels generated by proliferation of churches in Abia state in the Aba metropolis Region, its adverse effect on public health and recommendation to remedy the situation.

• Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:

• What has been the intensity of excessive level of noise generated by the churches in the day time and night time and during the dry and wet seasons of the year?

• How is the excessive level of noise from the churches compared with the EPA Nigeria noise standards?

• What is the impact of the excessive level of noise from the churches in Aba North and Aba South municipalities of Aba metropolis on human health?

• Main Objective
The main aim of this study is to assess the impact of proliferation of churches on noise pollution in Aba Metropolis and its impact on human health.

• Specifics Objective
The specific objectives of the study were to:

• determine the intensity of excessive noise generated by the churches in the day time and night time of worship during the dry and wet seasons of the year.

• determine whether the excessive level of noise from the churches is beyond the acceptable limits by EPA Nigeria standards.

• examine the impact of excessive level of noise from the churches in Aba North and Aba South municipalities on human health.

• Significance of the Study
The study is to investigate whether the level of noise conform to the standard set by EPA Nigeria and to evaluate the adverse effect of noise on public health. This study is designed to provide information on the intensity of levels of noise generated from the churches in Aba Metropolis in day and night hours of worship and also during the dry and wet seasons. It serves to contribute to the development of education on noise awareness and its adverse effect on human health.

It will also encourage the churches the need to reduce noise making in their environment to meet the standards set by EPA Nigeria and to understand the differences between noise levels. The findings of the study would be loyal to assist researchers, decision-making groups and the government in general as a data-base and a reference point for future. The

outcome to be considered would be for developing measures to mitigate higher levels of noise pollution emanating from these churches and as a reference base for other communities.

• Delimitation of the study
Noise is a variety of sound, usually meaning any unwanted sound. Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from sound, as both are vibrations through a medium, such as air or water. The difference arises when the brain receives and perceives a sound. A sound is produced when something vibrates. The vibrating body causes the medium (water, air, etc.) around it to vibrate.

The scope of topic of study is limited to the use of sound level meter for evaluation and a structured questionnaire for the data analysis. This would determine the level of noise generated by the churches in the day and night hours of worship, during the dry and wet seasons of the year and its intensity. The geographic location is solely Aba municipalities in the Aba metropolis Region.

• Limitations of the study
The following are some limitations of the study:

It was difficult in getting the residents, as most of them were traders and ready to leave for their businesses.

Most of the residents are government workers, so they leave very early to work in the morning.

Some of the residents also thought otherwise not ready to listen to us because the team and I had some folders in my hands.

The batteries for the instrument (Sound Level Meter) had to be changed on time as they get weaker and at the same time the meter re-calibrated to get accurate measurement which brought in some delay into the field of work.

In addition, outdoor (ambient) investigation conducted was worked out such that noise in the environment would not hamper the study and picking information from the residents was not easy as one has to wait for more time before taking

• Organization of the Chapters
Chapter One of the research work consist of the following: Introduction, Background of the study, Statement of the problem, Purpose of the study, Research questions, Objectives (Main and Specific), Assumptions, Significant of the study, Delimitation of the study, Limitation of the study, and Organization of the Chapters. This is the subject matter for relevant discussion. Chapter Two of the research work is the Review of related literature of the topic selected. This includes the primary and secondary data and other views from other journals. It looks at the literature of others and serves as the bases for the rest of the research work. Chapter Three of the research work represents the methodology, Study areas, Method, Data collection procedure and Data analysis. It deals with sample procedure and the analysis procedure used. Chapter Four of the research work talks about the Results and Discussions. This indicates the results and discussion of the research work. Chapter Five deals with the Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 76 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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