Kobby Ankomah-Graham

An Open Letter to the Mayor of Accra on Loud Churches

Dear Mayor Alfred Vanderpuije,

I would like to make a formal complaint against the Ebenezer Miracle Worship Centre for causing unacceptable and irresponsible levels of noise pollution at their Flowerpot Junction branch, just off the Spintex Road.

My family has lived on Spintex Road for around 15 years. In that time, we have seen the neighbourhood blossom from an industrial area of mainly factories to a residential area with schools, hospitals, houses and more.

The Ebeneezer Miracle Worship Centre has since its arrival been nothing but a nuisance to the good people of this area.

Not only on Sundays but also on Thursdays (their main service) and during the working day on numerous other days in the week, they blare their speakers so loudly that I once took a recording in my bedroom and my work colleagues swore I was standing in the middle of the church given how loud and clear it was.

Besides this, there are times when they can be heard practising music or praying until the early hours of the morning (although this is at a lower volume).

In spite of the no doubt large amounts of money they earn every week from collection of monies from their congregation, their building has since its start been without a complete set of windows. Even the windows they have are slim, not double-paned and do not act as sound-proofing.

This has however not prevented them from blaring their preaching and even more so their band music so loud that they can be heard from the main Spintex Road.

Even the nightclub ‘Sweeties’ further the road contains its noise and has NEVER once reached such noise levels. Neither has the mosque with their call to prayer every morning.

The vast majority of Ebeneezer Worship Miracle Centre’s members are not from here, as is evidenced by the number of its congregation taking the cars, taxis and trotros gathered around and in front of my house every Thursday (their biggest day), littering the streets and sometimes even blocking the entrance to my house. On account of the noise and numbers on Thursdays, I often come home after 9pm on that day every week. Why should this be?

I have spoken to many other people in my area who feel the same way I do: completely powerless. Some say they would complain but they doubt the authorities care or will do anything about it.

A friend of mine says she once asked one of the church’s elders why they had opened a church in a residential area. He told her it was an industrial area. Even if it were, that would not make their behaviour acceptable. Or Christian, for that matter.

Whether or not this is an industrial area in law, the vast majority of people who live here own homes. It is as such a residential area in fact. A simple drive through the area will attest to this.

The noise levels of the Ebeneezer Miracle Worship Centre are totally unacceptable and truth be told, I doubt that even God advocates such selfish behaviour.

I would like to appeal for the following:

A. Shut the church down, change the area from industrial to residential area in law and make a public example of the AMA officer responsible for granting them a license in what is a residential area (whether or not it was defined as such by the AMA at the time: they should have visited the area to see whether people would be affected).

B. Failing this, simply shut the church down.

C. Failing this, force the church to IMMEDIATELY invest in soundproof windows that should COMPLETELY reduce ther noise levels. If they fail to do this, revoke their license.

The Accra Metropolitan Authority recently said it would clamp down on such churches. The good people of this area are relying on you to break the trend and live up to this commitment.

Yours sincerely,

Kobby Graham
Resident of Flowerpot Junction, off Spintex Road