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Al Jazeera Correspondent
Ralph: 'Haiti was alone'
The Haitian ambulance driver explains what international aid organisations could have done differently.
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2011 17:03

Ralph Senecal has been running the only ambulance service in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, for almost 18 years. He does not charge those who cannot afford to pay for the service, but accepts donations to cover the cost of  fuel.

When the earthquake hit, Ralph was in the office. He ran out of the building and was greeted by the sight of people running around and yelling, children looking for their parents and the injured asking for help.

He was the only person Al Jazeera's Sebastian Walker saw delivering medical aid during the first night after the earthquake. As he struggled to help all those who needed it, Ralph did not even register that he was alone in this mission nor notice the absence of foreign rescue teams.

He describes the situation after the devastating earthquake and explains what international aid organisations should have done differently to help Haitians.

"They could build housing for Haitian people, nice little housing, a four-floors project, but they are spending millions on putting the people in tents, it's no good.

"I don't want you to tell me what's good for me, it's me who knows what's good for me. You don't know Haiti. I'm the one to tell you what we need. In Miami, or in New York, at my house I need a washing machine and a dryer, that's in New York. In Haiti I don't need a dryer, because of the sun, I wash the clothes, I put it outside, it's dry.

"So you have to ask the Haitian people what they want. You cannot just come and say 'here, take this'."

 

Haiti: After the Quake airs from Thursday, September 15, at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2000; Friday: 1200; Saturday: 0100; Sunday: 0600; Monday: 2000; Tuesday: 1200; Wednesday: 0100; Thursday: 0600.

Click here for more on Al Jazeera Correspondent.

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