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UCC Lifts Ban On Public Address Systems To Publicize Information On COVID-19

The Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has temporarily lifted the ban on the use of public address systems as part of fight against the spread of Coronovirus in Uganda.

UCC  announced the shift in regulations through a press statement noting that the decision to lift the ban follows the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that has created a gap in dissemination of information to the public, noting that whereas the mainstream broadcasting platforms are doing their best to inform and sensitise all people across the country about the Coronavirus, open-air broadcasting can significantly foster the efforts to increase the dissemination of information about the preventive and safety guidelines on this global pandemic.

“Accordingly, the Commission has decided to grant a temporary exception to the ban on open-air broadcasting to the Ministry of Health and the District local authorities for provision of information and sensitisation of the public about the Coronavirus until the 30th May 2020,” UCC statement dated April 2, 2020 reads in part.

However, the use of public address systems is only limited for usage by the Ministry of Health and District local authorities.

UCC says the users of the public address systems must ensure that the open-air broadcasting shall be undertaken only between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and the content to be aired shall be limited to that on the Coronavirus as approved or sanctioned by the Ministry of Health for dissemination to the public.

It should be recalled that UCC in fulfillment of the provisions of the Uganda Communications Act, 2013and in collaboration with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), UCC banned the use of open-air loudspeakers or megaphones, also known as bizindalo, to broadcast in Uganda as a requirement to curb noise pollution.

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