Lay Gayint

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Lay Guyint (Amharic: ላይ ጋይንት "Upper Guyint") is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Debub Gondar Zone, Lay Gayint is bordered on the south by Tach Gayint and

Lay Gayint

ላይ ገዪንት
Flag of Lay Gayint
ZoneDebub Gondar
RegionAmhara Region
 • Total1,522.43 km2 (587.81 sq mi)
 (2012 est.)
 • Total225,830 [1]

Simada, on the southwest by Misraq Este, on the west by Farta, on the north by Ebenat, and on the east by the Semien Wollo Zone. The administrative center is Nefas Mewcha; other towns in Lay Guyint include Gobgob and Sali.

The altitude of this woreda varies from 1,500 to 3,100 meters above sea level. The annual rainfall is erratically distributed and varies from 400 to 1,100 mm.[2] A notable landmark in Lay Guyint is the church of the village of Betlehem, about 65 kilometers southeast of Debre Tabor; inside an ordinary round church structure is an ancient church with a trussed roof of identical construction as the church of Debre Damo. The writer Thomas Pakenham was the first non-Ethiopian to visit this church in 1955.[3]

The most notable figure from this town is Ato Alemu Meshesha. Meshesha was a prominent local political figure who oversaw Lay and Tach Guyint. He was vocal about his opposition to Emperor Haile Selassie which forced the Emperor to ban Meshesha from his home to live in Addis Ababa, so that he and his family could be watched by the Royal Family. One of Meshesha's greatest accomplishments was leading a local Beghemdir militia, on horseback, into battle to victory against the Italians in World War II. A monument in Addis Ababa is currently under construction to commemorate the forgotten heroes of World War II that will include Meshesha.


Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this woreda has a total population of 206,499, an increase of 23.56% over the 1994 census, of whom 104,401 are men and 102,098 women; 22,825 or 11.05% are urban inhabitants. With an area of 1,522.43 square kilometers, Lay Gayint has a population density of 135.64, which is less than the Zone average of 145.56 persons per square kilometer. A total of 46,038 households were counted in this woreda, resulting in an average of 4.49 persons to a household, and 44,494 housing units. The majority of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 97.47% reporting that as their religion, while 2.47% of the population said they were Muslim.[4]

The 1994 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 167,122 in 33,681 households, of whom 84,585 were men and 82,537 were women; 13,583 or 8.13% of its population were urban dwellers. The largest ethnic group reported in Lay Guyint was the Amhara (99.88%). Amharic was spoken as a first language by 99.84%. The majority 97.6% of the population practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity with 97.6% professing that belief, while 2.27% of the population said they were Muslim.[5]


  1. ^ a b Geohive: Ethiopia Archived 2012-08-05 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "AMAREW 2005 extension plan" Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine, p. 2 (accessed 15 April 2009)
  3. ^ He describes the village and church in Pakenham, The Mountains of Rasselas (London: Reynal and Co., 1959), pp. 124-137
  4. ^ Census 2007 Tables: Amhara Region Archived 2010-11-14 at the Wayback Machine, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4.
  5. ^ 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Amhara Region, Vol. 1, part 1 Archived 2010-11-15 at the Wayback Machine, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.10, 2.13, 2.17, Annex II.2 (accessed 9 April 2009)

Coordinates: 12°00′N 38°20′E / 12.000°N 38.333°E / 12.000; 38.333