As a leader at work, her decisions affect the whole district. At home, she is a single mother of three. She also keeps chickens. Life is busy.

When lockdown came, she turned from parent to teacher overnight. But her role as a government administrator meant that she had to return to work.

Someone had to pay the health workers or more people would die.

“I really felt that if I delayed anything, I would be held responsible. It was really a very fearful moment for me.”

But returning to work proved fearful as well. Work meant exposure. And exposure could lead to her family getting sick.

Keeping them safe became paramount. Washing hands, practising good hygiene, not allowing her family to touch her things. She tried her best and told others to do the same.

Not just in her own home, but also within the wider community.

“I stop by and say: Please, do you know that you’re not wearing your mask? Can you please put on your mask?”

Handwashing facilities at people’s homes were mandated. However, with more than 30 per cent of people having poor or no access to clean water, she felt more had to be done.

Her solution? She founded a district partnership forum and invited all partners, both governmental and non-governmental, for a full-day meeting.

There, with all executive directors and officials present, she persuaded them to alter their budgets, to state what they could contribute and where and implored them to work together.

Since then, she has worked tirelessly on what she calls a ‘holistic sanitation arrangement’, creating synergy between disparate stakeholders and covering more communities every day.

“Hi, I’m Rebecca.

I stand up for total access to safe water and hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID.
I create change.”


lives in Dokolo in the north of Uganda and works for her district local government as principal assistant chief administrative officer. She also holds a portfolio with responsibility for coordinating all partners in the district local government. Rebecca’s mission is to uplift her community and keep her family safe.


out of 10

In northern Uganda, as many as three out of ten households are without water and have to walk long distances to access safe and clean water. During COVID, some families were stigmatised and prevented from getting water if they had sick family members.


girls, 1 boy

Rebecca has two children, one boy and one girl. She has also adopted a girl and employs a female domestic worker. Her son is the only male in the household and sometimes acts like he is in charge despite being a young boy.



Out of 489 villages, 30 have experienced significant improvements after support programme interventions. Rebecca would love to see this coverage increase to reach more people


The story continues