PASIR MAS: The dry spell in Kelantan which started about two weeks ago, has caused the water level in Sungai Golok, which borders Malaysia and Thailand, to drop significantly.
A check by Bernama in Rantau Panjang found a sandbar had formed in the middle of the river, causing problems for boat operators to do their daily activities.
In addition, a check at Kampung Jeram Perdah here found the distance between Malaysia and Thailand had "shortened" as the river had been reduced to a 4 metre drain.
As a result, residents living nearby can merely travel on foot to the neighbouring country.
A boat operator Din Mamat, 50, said the situation had forced boat operators to be more careful for fear of being hit by woods or rocks in the shallow riverbed.
He added there were also incidences when boats got stuck in the sand, causing engine failure and forcing the boats to be towed to the river bank.
"The shallow waters however have encouraged people, especially children from both countries to come and bathe in the river. I foresee that it the water level continues to drop, there will be a carnival-like atmosphere near the river, as had happened a few years ago. There were even those who set up stalls," he said when met by Bernama here.
A resident of Kampung Jeram Perdah, Ismail Awang, 60, said the prolonged dry weather would not be good for boat operators, as people could now walk on foot to the border.
"Previously, this area was a favourite spot for fishermen and anglers, but now it is difficult for them to earn a living," he added. - Bernama