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Address the concerns of your neighbours now

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We cannot live by the law alone and we cannot take every contentious issue to court. In short, we expect persons to have consideration for those who live near to them. In other words, we rely on the good will of our neighbors. We must do unto others as we would have them do unto us.{{more}} This means that we must avoid certain practices in our neighbourhood that would cause our neighbours discomfort, expense or even pain. In this article, I want to be your interrogator to see if you measure up to the standard that would promote good living in your neighbourhood.

Do you make life uncomfortable for others by engaging in some harmful practices? Do you create bon fires frequently? A bonfire could cause your neighbour great pain because he inhales the smoke that causes harm to his lungs. Do you talk about clean air as much as you talk about clean water? Do you believe that what ever goes into the body must be clean? Are you aware of the dangers of polluted air?

Inhalation of smoke can cause or aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma. You only have to go to the accident and emergency ward to see how many persons are waiting to use the nebulizer. Smoke is known to carry carcinogens that cause cancer. There are some areas that could be renamed “Smoke Vale” because there is always someone with a fire or even a coal pit. If you really have to burn your waste, why don’t you get together with the neighbors and designate a smoky day? This would give those who cannot endure the smoke enough warning to get out of the area.

Why not create a waste disposal system which caters for your household waste? The leaves from your trees could be placed in garbage bags and put aside to rot. The compost that is formed could be used for your homegrown vegetables and houseplants. We are all sick and tired of the smoke. The frequency of this smoke makes us believe that people think that smoke is harmless.

Do you interfere with the quality of life for your neighbour by encouraging the breeding of mosquitoes? Do you know that these insects pose a real danger to life? They cause serious diseases but yet we leave receptacles around that could collect water and provide breeding grounds. A careless act on your part is all they need to overwhelm us. Are we too busy? Let us resolve to get rid of these insects that make life a living hell for us.

Do you listen to your neighbours’ complaints? Do you try to walk about in their shoes? The trees in your yard could be throwing leaves and clogging their drains. The hurricane season is upon us. Have you cut back those overhanging trees? They carry vines that climb on to utility wires and weigh them down.

Do you have a vacant plot of land in the midst of a residential area? Do you leave it unattended so that your neighbour has to pay to cut back the vegetation that creeps on to her land? Do you know that the land has been over taken by termites and is the home of rats and other creatures that are a nuisance to your neighbours?

Do you care about where your drain water goes? Or do you allow it to run on to your neighbour’s property so that she can deal with it for you?

When we purchase our land and erect our houses we do so at great expense. We covenant for peace and enjoyment of property. It is not fair and right to impose on your neighbor’s rights. Be a good citizen, a good neighbour, a true child of God!

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.

E-mail address is: [email protected]

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