Ambient noise levels emanating from religious activities in residential neighbourhoods are an emerging environmental problem that educes little attention from enforcement agencies and policy makers in Ghana. This paper set out to quantify religious noise exposure in urban residential neighbourhoods in the Cape Coast metropolis of Ghana. Subjective annoyance levels of residents in selected communities were determined. Noise risk zones were mapped using ARCGIS 9.3 software and surface interpolation for the data was carried out using inverse distance weighting. The results show that most (77 and 86 per cent) of the locations recorded noise levels that were above the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency maximum permissible limit for day and night, respectively. Pearson's correlation coefficient for day and night noise exposure shows strong association (0.714) at the 0.01 level. There is variability in the levels of noise for both day and night, which are rather high (standard deviation = 7.59477 and 7.94022, respectively). Generally, levels of noise exposure correlated with levels of annoyance of residents, except that the highest noise exposure was not recorded in the community where the annoyance level of residents was highest. Residential neighbourhoods within the study area largely experienced safe to tolerable levels of religious noise, although 5 per cent were within the high-risk zone. Given that the selected residential areas have high population densities, even when the dispersion of noise risk is spatially limited, it affects a large number of people who belong to different socio-economic classes.
|Tidskrift||Environmental Hazards: Human and Policy Dimensions|
|Status||Published - 2010|