Summer will soon be knocking at our doors, meaning that summer clubbing venues will finally open, new venues may be introduced, and that more open-air events, concerts and parties will be the order of the day.
Whilst most people look forward to this time of the year with much zest, another section of the population, most notably those people who live in the areas surrounding such venues, most pointedly do not.
Noise pollution, that is, excessive noise disturbance which may harm or change the balance of an individual’s day-to-day life, can be not only irritating, but also actually damaging health-wise. High noise levels can contribute to a rise in blood pressure, an increase in stress, not to mention having other psychologically harmful effects, due to the disruption of one’s sleep patterns. Whilst the most noted noise pollution relates to traffic and construction sites, we must keep in mind that these two are prevalent during the hours of the day, when people are normally wide awake, and though irritating, they are surmountable seeing how an individual would actually expect to hear such noise during the day.
This is not the case for clubbing events or open-air parties such as Gianpula or Numero Uno, which although are not within residential areas, produce not only magnified sounds and music, but also very dense vibrations, which have been reported to have been heard for miles and miles around.
When it comes to noise disturbance, one could also note the summer village festas, which take place during the summer months, and whose bangs, fireworks and displays, also disrupt those locals who want nothing more than their usual peaceful nine hours of sleep. The fact however remains, that a village festa does not go on for more than a week in the normal course of events, while noise-amassing venues such as Numero Uno, are open during at least a quarter of the year.
Noise pollution is invisible, does not leave any trace and cannot be measured, and is therefore mostly labelled as being unimportant or negligible. Many people suffer in silence, without reporting late-night disturbances to the police, in the belief that nothing will be done anyways, or that they will not be believed, since there is no way to investigate claims of noise pollution once the noise itself is over.
Unlike what many think, however, noise pollution is not negligible at all, since it affects sleep and mental stress, which are two very important matters in relation to health, both physical and psychological. Noise can affect not only a person’s attitude, but his/her actual behaviour in relation to his communication towards others and his/her performance at the place of work and/or school.
Another important fact to note is that since certain areas are well-known to have a noise-pollution problem in relation to certain venues, properties in these areas are being reduced in value as well, since the level of noise is considered to be part of one’s quality of life.
While the noise pollution generated by clubs, bars and other such places is not visible to the eye, there are unfortunately other by-products of the party-life which are. Imagine for example, living in Swieqi near Paceville, and waking up on Sunday morning to find the patio of your house littered with empty beer bottles, plastic cups and take-away left-overs … not to mention puddles of vomit… or worse. Ugh!!
Living near Paceville sounds very handy, but think again – would you really want to live there? What about near Gianpula? Thinking about the parking alone makes me shudder
If you want to know more about noise pollution in Malta, and what’s being done to abate the issue, visit www.nasomalta.org – this is the website for the Noise Abatement Society of Malta, whose aim is ‘to promote a quieter, and consequently healthier, Malta by campaigning against the hazards of excessive noise’.