Rwanda Imposes Curfew To Tackle Noise Pollution

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Rwanda’s government has taken a stringent step towards combating noise pollution.

Rwanda Imposes Curfew To Tackle Noise Pollution
President Paul Kagame

The government imposed a curfew on all “non-essential services,” a move that has stirred a heated response from nightclub owners, who fear significant damage to their businesses.

In a late-night announcement on Tuesday, the Cabinet revealed its decision to enforce strict closing times for non-essential services, which will take effect from September 1st, 2023. According to the new regulations, such establishments will have to shut down at 1 am on working days and 2 am on weekends (Friday and Saturday).

The move comes as part of President Paul Kagame’s unwavering commitment to addressing the issue of noise pollution in the East African nation. Under his leadership, the authorities have been taking resolute measures, including ordering bars to close and seizing equipment from entertainment venues to curb excessive noise levels.

However, the recent curfew implementation has triggered a wave of discontent among nightclub owners. One proprietor, speaking anonymously to AFP, expressed concerns about the potential adverse effects on their businesses. They argued that the restrictions were regressive and could ultimately lead to the demise of several establishments.

In the past month, the Rwandan government had already introduced noise pollution guidelines aimed at maintaining nighttime tranquility. These guidelines mandated that sound levels in commercial areas should not exceed 55 decibels during late hours.

While the government’s decision to combat noise pollution is welcomed by some citizens who seek a peaceful environment, the nightclub industry and related businesses have voiced their reservations about the potential economic ramifications.

The situation remains tense as authorities and business owners navigate their differences, with both sides striving to find a balance between controlling noise pollution and sustaining nightlife activities.

As Rwanda prepares to enforce the curfew in September, citizens and stakeholders alike are closely watching to see how this decision will shape the future of entertainment and the battle against noise pollution in the country.

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