A force for good


Book Reviewer
Well done Sapper Snooks !

As local children look on, 59 Independent Squadron make a start on new buildings for Chittra Topi's hospital. [Picture: PO Phot Ian Richards, RN]

At 7,500ft in the village of Chittra Topi, members of Britain's 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers, supported by members of the Royal Marines, have begun constructing emergency shelters to act as clinics during the harsh Kashmiri winter.

Sgt [Wassname] and his colleagues from 59 Independent Squadron Royal Engineers have begun building extra shelters for the hospital at Chittra Topi, 7,500ft in the Kashimir mountains

Chittra Topi's hospital cares for a population of 20,000 in the mountain areas of the district of Bagh. However, following the devastating earthquake on 8 October 2005 the hospital is no longer safe to use.

At the request of the Pakistani authorities the Royal Engineers are building two new shelters next to the hospital to act as a day clinic and a pharmacy. Once complete they will turn their attentions to building two classrooms for the neighbouring school.

All of the shelters will be essential for keeping community services running through the harsh Kashmiri winter.

The hospital administrator, Mr Tariq Khan, explained how beneficial the construction of these buildings will be for the people of Chittra Topi:
"We are very grateful for their help. Although the earthquake did not destroy our hospital completely, it is now too dangerous to use. At least we can now carry on providing medical services through the winter."

Sapper Kieran [Bloke], one of the Royal Engineers working on the project, added:
"I am proud to be here in Pakistan helping with the humanitarian effort. Because we are part of 3 Commando Brigade we are trained to be self-sufficient and to look after ourselves in cold temperatures so we can get the job done."

The UK has pledged a total package of £128 million to Pakistan following the earthquake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale. This includes £58 million for the relief effort (£38.1 million of which has been committed so far); and £70 million for the reconstruction effort, pledged at the International Aid Conference in Islamabad on 19 November 2005.

The UK is the fourth largest pledging nation behind Saudi Arabia, US, China, and Iran. A total of $5.8bn has been pledged by the international community.
I'm guessing 59(ind)RE will be out there over Christmas - maybe ARRSE could send them a free box ? Anyway, good on them.

Le Chevre
"The UK is the fourth largest pledging nation behind Saudi Arabia, US, China, and Iran. A total of $5.8bn has been pledged by the international community."

Er, so does that mean we're the fifth largest donor or the eighth?