Gharbia Governorate (Arabic: محافظة الغربية Muḥāfaẓah Al Gharbeya, IPA: [alɣɑɾˈbejjɑ, -jæ]) is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north of the country, south of Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, and north of Monufia Governorate. Its capital is Tanta, which is 90 km north of Cairo, and 120 km south east of Alexandria. The largest city in Gharbia is El Mahalla El Kubra. The total area of Gharbia governorate is 1,942 km2, making it the tenth largest governorate of Egypt.
Gharbia Governorate on the map of Egypt
|Coordinates: 30.867°N 31.028°E|
|• Governor||Hisham El-Said Mohamed El-Sayed|
|• Total||1,942 km2 (750 sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
high · 8th
The governorate is divided into municipal divisions, with a total estimated population, as of July 2017, of 5,018,545. In some instances there is a markaz and a kism with the same name.
|Anglicized name||Native name||Arabic transliteration||Population|
(July 2017 Est.)
|El Mahalla El Kubra||مركز المحله الكبرى||Al-Maḥallah al-Kubrā||795,468||Markaz|
|El Mahalla El Kubra 1||قسم أول المحلة الكبرى||Al-Maḥallah al-Kubrā 1||160,102||Kism (fully urban)|
|El Mahalla El Kubra 2||قسم ثان المحلة الكبرى||Al-Maḥallah al-Kubrā 2||248,149||Kism (fully urban)|
|El Mahalla El Kubra 3||قسم ثالث المحلة الكبرى||Al-Maḥallah al-Kubrā 3||114,548||Kism (fully urban)|
|El Santa||مركز السنطة||As-Sanṭah||482,189||Markaz|
|Kafr El Zayat||مركز كفر الزيات||Kafr az-Zayyāt||457,277||Markaz|
|Tanta 1||قسم أول طنطا||Ṭanṭā 1||270,603||Kism (fully urban)|
|Tanta 2||قسم ثان طنطا||Ṭanṭā 2||238,151||Kism (fully urban)|
|Zefta||قسم زفتى||Ziftā||98,551||Kism (fully urban)|
The name of al-Gharbiyya ("the western one") has been used as a district name in Egypt since shortly after the Arab conquest of Egypt. In the 13th century it comprised 165 villages, while the 15th-century geographer al-Qalqashandi describes it as fertile and prosperous.
In modern times, it is notable for the cultivation of cotton, and its textile industry.
In 1960, the governorate numbered 1,815,000 inhabitants. According to population estimates, in 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate lived in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 30.0%. Out of an estimated 4,751.865 people residing in the governorate, 3,324,630 people lived in rural areas as opposed to only 1,427,235 in urban areas.
Projects and programs
In 2016, Switzerland committed to funding a solid waste management program in Gharbia, a project with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment that will conclude in 2021. The National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP) involves the construction of infrastructure for new, as well as the expansion and improvement of existing waste treatment, landfill, and recycling facilities.
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