In urban areas, noise pollution is nothing new and is often neglected as an issue for city dwellers. However, it has severe effects on people’s well being and quality of life.

It is common to see portable karaoke speakers on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, blasting out ear-splitting music. It is annoying, harming people’s health, and there is no way to stop them since there are so many. 

"I don’t like these portable karaoke speakers since they cause me and many others headaches, plus the singing is bad as well," said Gia Bach, a resident in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Other resident also complained about noise pollution, as they turned on the karaoke everyday, causing trouble for nearby people including children and elders.

The endless honking and noises from vehicles have contributed to the noise level. Coupled with loud music from bars, stores and restaurants, it has become a recipe for disaster for residents living in this big city. Many are looking for answers, but no one has come up with anything. 

Mrs Tien,a district 1 local, said that she was tired at first, but then she is used to the noise since she couldn't do anything about it.

Many of these portable karaoke speakers have been confiscated by the law enforcement, yet the situation remains the same. The loud noise has become disruptive and caused many negative consequences such as neurological diseases, difficulty in concentrating and anxiety.

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has set up a hotline for residents to report noise pollution, as well as initiated a quick response team to deal with such situations.

Le Tan Dat, the Chairman of Pham Ngu Lao Ward’s People Committee, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City said that he often get calls at 2-3am from resident to report on any noise pollution incidents. He even got his numbers  printed on the cards so that residents can quickly contact him, he added.

Under current regulations, noise polluters are subjected to fines up to 7,000 USD for individuals and 14,000 USD for organisations. However, these fines are only a warning, and people should know how to protect themselves from the negative effects of noise pollution. Popular solutions, such like periodic vehicle maintenance, are advised to reduce the level of noise.

Agencies should step in and raise the awareness of local people on noise pollution in general. It is crucial that organisations, as well as individuals, strictly follow the rules on reducing noise and promote a healthy lifestyle.- VNA