Kilimani residents back in court over B Club's noise pollution

Residents of Kilimani area in Nairobi have gone back to court seeking to have the proprietor of B Club punished for defying a court directive requiring it to be shut down.

In the petition, the residents, through Kilimani Project Foundation, said the club has continued to operate in a residential area, despite an order issued in October last year, for it to be closed.

The residents, led by Houghton Irungu, said the the club owner's continuous disobedience of the court order should not go unpunished.

“Notwithstanding the existence and knowledge of the judgment of October 17, the 1st respondent (B Concept) has continued to operate business within the applicant’s area of residence thereby continuing to violate the applicant’s right to clean and health environment,” Mr Irungu said in an affidavit.

Through lawyer Cecil Miller, the residents said they are aware that attempts by four clubs to suspend the execution of the order was rejected by the Court of Appeal in August. 

He wants Kilimani police boss to ensure the order is complied with. 

The club, together with Kiza Lounge, Space Lounge and Grill and Explorers Tavern were ordered to shut down by an Environment and Land Court last year, for operating in residential area and noise pollution. 

But the clubs have challenged the decision arguing that they have complied with allowable noise levels and had obtained approvals from National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

The managing director of Explorers Tavern, Antonio Leting, faulted Justice Loice Komingoi for relying on noise levels from Space Lounge and Grill and applying it to all the clubs to order their closure.

According to Leting, the club has more than 80 employees whose livelihoods would be jeopardised if it is closed.

Ms Judy Gitau, manager and proprietor of Kiza Restaurant, supported Leting's application saying her club was granted all necessary approvals and licences.

Noise pollution

She said Kiza is a major enterprise operating in three continents across and offers a source of livelihood to more than 100 employees in its Nairobi branch. She said the club has always been receptive of any ideas or interventions issued by relevant agencies.

Area residents, under Kilimani Project Foundation, moved to court arguing that noise from the four nightclubs was denying them sleep.

Besides the noise, Mr Miller said revelers litter the area, obstruct vehicles and expose children to immoral and indecent behaviour and that property prices have plummeted in the area, hurting rental incomes.

The noise levels from the clubs, according to Mr Miller, clocked between 68 to 84 ab, which is above permitted levels.

The residents also complained that the issuance of business permits and liquor licences by the Nairobi County Government for bars within residential areas was a violation of their rights. 

Explorers Tavern had argued that it does not operate within a residential area but on a commercial zone along Ngong Road and that it does not play loud music as alleged. 

The article was published by Nation Africa on 09/10/2020.