• 2022

    The St. Martin Foundation signs a training agreement with the Ecole Pratique d’agriculture de Binguéla (EPAB). Thanks to the cooperation with this state school, specialists for the construction and maintenance of drinking water wells will be trained from January 2023.

  • 2019

    The drinking water project celebrates its 30th anniversary. On October 2, the 1700th fountain is handed over to the population of Nlong-Bon III.

  • 2017

    Swiss television shows a short report about the drinking water project. Okala village gets clean water.

  • 2015

    Father Urs, founder of the drinking water project, dies on March 27th at the age of 88 in the Engelberg monastery.

    On April 16th, the 1500th fountain is inaugurated in Ekoumdoum.

  • 2014

    Federal councillor, Simonetta Sommaruga, visits Otélé on September 27th.

  • 2013

    After 24 years, Mr and Mrs Stadelmann hand over the management of the water project. In order to continue strengthening the project, which has been growing since 1989, the St. Martin Foundation adds two employees and further, divides the leadership into technical and administrative.

  • 2012

    After 57 years in Cameroon, Father Urs Egli returns to Engelberg as the last white Benedictine priest, and the project management prepares for a change of personnel. The St. Martin Foundation resolves to continue the project under new Swiss management and to retain Otélé as its base, since this is where the infrastructure is housed and the project is already well known and enjoys the confidence of the local population. «Water is Life» has evolved into one of the most important employers in the region, and is recognised to an equal extent by both the church and the government of Cameroon.

  • 2011

    From typewriter to computer network: the basic computer infrastructure that has been developed over the course of many years needs to be professionally updated and secured. Replacement of the entire hardware, and installation of wireless LAN and satellite Internet in the rainforest.

  • 2010

    On November 24, the Drinking Water Project celebrates its 25th anniversary. Cameroonian television and radio report it.

  • 2010

    A Swiss TV crew travels to Cameroon during the football World Cup in South Africa, and films a report on the drinking water project. View

  • 2009

    On 24 September, the St. Martin Foundation celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its “ Water is Life” project. Premiere of the 13-minute documentary about the project during the anniversary celebrations in the Lorzensaal in Cham. Order

  • 2008

    The St. Martin Foundation concludes important agreements with the dioceses of Yaoundé and Eseka and consolidates its position as an autonomous non-governmental organisation (NGO). Renewal of the tax exemption agreement with the government of Cameroon.

  • 2006

    Publication of “Tausend Brunnen” by Rosemarie Keller, which tells the story of Father Urs Egli and the drinking water project. Order

  • 2005

    On 2 December, Archbishop Victor Tonyé Bakot hands over the thousandth well to the villagers of Ngon. The government of Cameroon honours Alfred Müller and Louis Stadelmann with a knighthood (Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Valeur).

  • 2000

    On 21 May, the Swiss electorate vote in favour of bilateral negotiations with the EU. On 23 May, an initial agreement is concluded between EU institutions, the government of Cameroon and the St. Martin Foundation regulating participation in the costs of a hundred wells.

  • 1999

    Inauguration of the five-hundredth well by Michael Müller and his partner, Claudia Wettstein, together with the inhabitants of Mu-Yamakouba.

  • 1994

    The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports the project with a contribution of 2.85 million Swiss francs.

  • 1993

    Conclusion of a tax exemption agreement with the government of Cameroon.

  • 1992

    In order to secure the financing of the project, Alfred Müller-Stocker sets up the St. Martin Foundation in Baar and endows it with 2.5 million Swiss francs. The hundredth well is inaugurated in Abom in the presence of Alfred and Annaliese Müller-Stocker and leading clerical, political and diplomatic figures.

  • 1989

    ather Urs Egli initiates the “Water is Life” project, and is able to count on the support of Louis and Heidy Stadelmann-Graf, a married couple mediated by Alfred Müller. Together with their three-year-old daughter Carla and six-month-old son Manuel, they arrive in Otélé on 20 June. The first well is handed over for operation on 24 November.

  • 1988

    Misereor, a German aid organisation, agrees to finance Father Urs Egli’s well construction project, though only if the agreement is concluded with the support of a bishop. Jean Zoa, the Archbishop at that time, informs Father Urs Egli that 400 wells are required throughout the diocese, not just 44 for Otélé. 14 years after their initial encounter in the rainforest, Father Urs Egli asks Alfred Müller to help him find a technical manager for the project.

  • 1985

    Time and again, Father Urs Egli has to bury children as well as adults who have died from preventable diseases, and he finds this deeply troubling. He is aware that contaminated water can cause a variety of diseases and decides to construct wells in order to enable villagers to pump clean water from below the ground. His plan is to install 44 wells – two in each of the 22 villages in the Otélé region.

  • 1974

    Alfred Müller-Stocker travels to Cameroon for the first time, where he pays a visit to a carpentry project of the charity organisation, Caritas, and meets Father Urs Egli.

  • 1955

    28-year-old Benedictine priest from Engelberg, Urs Egli, travels to tropical Cameroon to strengthen the Benedictine mission in the region. He initially works as a teacher and school principal, then as head of the mission in Otélé, which is where the drinking water project, “Water is Life” (locally known as “Projet Eau Potable”) is now based.