City of Harare Town House Flooded by Underground Stream
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City of Harare Town House Flooded by Underground Stream

The iconic Harare Town House, a historic landmark building in the heart of Zimbabwe's capital city, is currently grappling with a severe water intrusion issue that could have far-reaching consequences for the surrounding properties and the city's real estate market.

According to reports, an underground stream that flows beneath Julius Nyerere Way has seeped into the basement of the Town House, flooding it with water and putting valuable historical documents at risk of destruction. Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume revealed that the basement has been completely filled with water seeping through from the underground stream, and the city has been in contact with the National Archives of Zimbabwe and the National Art Gallery to assist in preserving the documents.

The mayor explained that there are cracks in the basement's foundation through which water has been seeping in, and while the city traditionally uses pumps to drain the water, the recent heavy rains have overwhelmed the malfunctioning pumps, causing the water to flow freely into the building.

Built around 1933, the Harare Town House faces Julius Nyerere Way, which was constructed after a stream that ran to the Mukuvisi River was drained to make way for roads and buildings when colonialists settled in 1890.

The flooding situation at the Harare Town House could have significant implications for property values in the surrounding areas. Historic buildings and landmarks often play a crucial role in shaping the character and appeal of a neighbourhood, and any damage or deterioration can negatively impact the desirability and perceived value of nearby properties.

Real estate experts warn that if the water intrusion issue at the Town House is not addressed promptly and effectively, it could lead to a ripple effect on property values in the vicinity. The potential for structural damage, mould growth, and other issues associated with prolonged water exposure could make the area less attractive to potential buyers and renters.

The loss of valuable historical documents and artifacts housed in the Town House could diminish the cultural and historical significance of the area, further impacting property values for those who place a premium on living in a neighbourhood with a rich heritage and preserved historical character.

Harare Residents Trust director Shumba noted that council workers have been taking turns scooping water out of the underground space, but the recent heavy rains have left them hopeless, and a solution is urgently needed.