Eight years after its establishment, the Ngardok Nature Reserve in Melekeok State has finally installed for the first time a landline and internet connection hence paving way for ease of communication and services.

Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) Program Manager Omar Faustino told Island Times in an interview yesterday that they had long been desiring to establish a landline connection at the reserve for faster information dissemination and services and it was only recently when they finally found a means to establish the project.

The project, according to Faustino, has paid off after a series of meetings and through the collaborations with the Protected Area Network (PAN) Office, Melekeok State Government, and the MCN.

The PAN Office and PAN Fund, according to Faustino, had found an available budget that could support the project hence, leading into the establishment of the communication infrastructure at the reserve.

Faustino added that the establishment of the line alone already cost around $25,000 and with it in place, the staff at the reserve will now be able to provide better services for the people and the visitors.

Aside from that, the existence of the communication line will make it easier for them to report emergency situations and ask police assistance should there be any concerns encountered while the staff do their 24/7 monitoring at the reserve or when a visitor gets hurt while touring the area.

“We monitor and survey the areas 24/7 and if anything happens, we have to call because we are not equipped like the police so we just make reports,” Faustino said.

Faustino also shared that prior to the establishment of the line, sending and getting important information was challenging and very time-consuming as they would have to travel to their main office or to Koror and back to the reserve just to get things done.

Faustino also added that they will now also be able to respond to any reports of violations from the people of the community.

The cutting of ribbon ceremony for the communication infrastructure project at the reserve was conducted on October 22 at the Ngardok Nature Reserve and it was graced by the presence of Delegate Lentcer Basilius of Melekeok State, PNCC General Manager Leo Ben Teriong, Joni Kesolei also of PNCC, PAN Fund General Manager Regis Emesiochel, PAN Office Program Coordinator Foober O. Skebong, Melekeok State Governor Henaro Polloi, “Ngiraingas” Villiany Thomas and Hidencio Kintaro of the 9th Melekeok State Legislature, PAN Fund Board Member Brengiei Katosang, Melekeok Nature Reserve Board Chairman Jefferson Thomas, Melekeok Nature Reserve Board Secretary Kashgar Rengulbai, Melekeok Nature Reserve Board Member Helena Rebelkuul, Melekeok Conservation Network Program Manager Omar Faustino, Millan Eberdong and Naito Soaladaob of the Belau National Museum, and representatives of the Ngaraotilech  namely Bechekeldil Akemi Thomas, Dirraibungelchang Doris Mad, Ibul Rechelbang, and Tobed Kadoi. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)