Accra: The authorities of Ghana’s capital Accra on Saturday ordered the mosques and churches to restrict the use of the loudspeakers and instead make use of the social networking application WhatsApp to initiate prayer calls to the people. The main reason behind the move is to curb the noise pollution in the urban areas.
Often the places of worship attract heavy movement of traffic and a massive gathering of the pedestrians. In addition to that, the church bells and prayer calls add to the noise pollution adding to the woes of the people residing nearby, as reported by the German media group Deutsche Welle.
Ghana’s environment minister Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng justified this move by saying that Imam would be sending WhatsApp messages to the people informing them of the time of the prayer. “Why is it that time for prayer cannot be transmitted with a text message or WhatsApp? So the imam would send WhatsApp messages to everybody. I think that will help to reduce the noise. This may be controversial but it’s something that we can think about,” said Boateng.
The Muslim community residing in Accra has rejected the idea of receiving the prayer calls via WhatsApp.
As per imam Sheik Usan Ahmed “the prayer call is done five times a day and the use of WhatsApp and messages could bring down the noise level but it could have certain economic implications as well as the Imam does not get a monthly salary and he may not have enough money”.
He further termed these steps as unnecessary.
Further, the lack of penetration of social media among the community could also pose a hindrance to this practice.