‘So rewarding to help people hit by quake’

Private Reymar Robbinson (24) EMN-160317-152617001
Private Reymar Robbinson (24) EMN-160317-152617001

Two Rutland based Army medics have helped to rebuild remote Nepalese communities after the devastating earthquake that hit the country in April 2015.

Private Reymar Robinson, and Private Jake Sumner, from 2 Medical Regiment have been in Nepal with 70 Gurkha Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment on Op MARMAT 2 - which means ‘rebuild’ in Nepali.

Living in tents pitched in the foothills of the Himalayas, the troops have built schools, community centres and houses in the villages of serving Gurkhas, their families and veterans.

Private Reymar Robinson, 24, said: “Nepal really suffered in the earthquake and it’s been very rewarding to come out with the Gurkhas to help the Nepalese people get back on their feet. We went to the opening of a school we built and to see the look on the children’s faces made it all worthwhile.

“My job is to provide medical support to the engineers. They’re very robust and safety conscious so I haven’t had any medical issues to deal with and I’ve been getting involved with the building. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I’ve been mixing mortar and laying stones.”

Fellow Rutland medic Private Jake Sumner, 22, said: “It’s been very rewarding to come out to Nepal and help rebuild after the earthquake and the people have been really welcoming. We’re living near one of the schools we built and it’s been great to see children in their lessons.

“It’s been quiet on the medical side, so I’ve been helping out where I can and I’ve done concreting, plastering and painting. These are all new skills to me, so when I buy a house I’ll be all over the DIY!”

70 Gurkha Field Squadron deployed to Nepal from October 2015 to February 2016, with colleagues from 69 Gurkha Field Squadron taking over.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal on April 25 last year, killed almost 9,000 people and injured a further 22,000. More than a million homes were destroyed or damaged.

Hundreds of families are still living in make-shift shelters, but thanks to the generosity of organisations across the world, Nepal is slowly being re-built.